UMW Brothers are the champions of Port Moresby Rugby League after defeating favorites KAL Magani 19-10 in a blistering grand final show-down at the Lloyd Robson oval yesterday.
It was a hard-earned victory for the brethren after trailing 4-0 in the first 15 minutes of the match when Magani’s workaholic forward Spencer Ekali bulldozed his way through to register first blood for his side which was not converted by captain Gure Gau.
But, that was short-lived when sneaky Brothers rake Alanga Peter scored after side stepping several half-hearted Magani defenders to touch down in the 22nd minute as Winfred Henry collected the extras for Brothers to take over the lead 6-4 .
The two sides had their chances but went begging in the next quarter of the first half as they came up with unforced errors and did not play according to their game plans.
It was a roasting encounter in the second stanza as Magani coach Minti Lewa fired up his charges who came out full tilt after the halftime break with rampaging forward Spencer Ekali leading from the front.
His efforts paid off as he set up Stanely Palaru to score under the up rights, with the successful convention from Gau seeing the wallabies taking a shaky 10-6 lead in the 51st minute.
With the wind at their backs Brothers peppered the Magani back three causing errors as butter-fingers became the order of the session.
Sensing victory, Brothers captain Winfred Henry, switched on his side with his trade mark runs, teaming up with power house Zachery Sambai, Elison Patimos and rampaging reserve forward Joseph Nerie who continually raided Magani’s territory.
The freshman from the bench Nerie did not waste any time after sprinting from 15m to latch on to his halfback Swokin Magani’s timely pass to bulldoze his way through to score under the uprights as Henry converted for a 12-10 lead.
Captain Henry sank a field goal from 25m in the 70th minute further dousing the hopes of the diehard Magani cheer girls who were out in full force.
Leading 13-10 gun forward Joseph Nerie continued his electrifying runs, this time from a set backline move, the blockbusting forward stepped into a sliding wallabies line of defence and brushed aside the cover to score the killer blow against the wallabies in the 76th minute.
An excited Brothers coach Ilo Koko said his boys were hungry for the victory and they executed well in the second stanza earning them the win in the historical 60 years of Port Moresby rugby league competition.
Magani 10: S Palaru, S Ekali, Gau one goal. Brothers 19: J Nerie 2 tries, A Peter, 3 goals W Henry, W Henry field goal.