The National, Friday November 1st, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
THE famous Lloyd Robson Oval will be given a send-off when traditional clubs Brothers and Tarangau clash in the Port Moresby Rugby Football League (POMRFL) A grade grand final on Sunday.
While there will be much joy for the winner, there will also be a sense of mourning especially for those that put their heart and soul in this national icon to establish the game from its infancy in the 1950s.
This will be particularly so for those that shed blood, sweat and tears as they lived their dream by wearing the Kumul jumper against the touring Great Britain Lions, Australian Kangaroos and New Zealand Kiwis over the years.
The Brothers and Tarangau clubs have won that honor to feature in the last official grand-final at the popular PRL facility, before it is pulled down for a much-needed face-lift in preparation for the 2015 Pacific Games.
And the POMRFL management has ensured a huge send-off which will include the popular Gwadus band featuring with several local artists providing the music and entertainment, traditional dancing, fireworks, police dog performance and a PNGDF smoke display for spectators to look forward to.
The management also confirmed that the winner will bag K25,000 and runners-up K15,000 for their efforts. Minor premiers Magani will receive K7,500.
The Under-19 winners will collect K7,500 and the runners-up K3,750. The U19 minor premiers will receive K3,750.
The man of the match for both grades will be given a cash prize as well.
Brothers under coach Wilfred Henry look to be coming in a big way, as they have done all season with their win-at-all-costs attitude.
Losing last season’s grand final to Dobo Warriors is a bad memory they want to erase.
Skipper and five-eighth Tilix Kawage will lead by example but it is his strike weapon in the competition’s most consistent performer in dummy-half Stanley Olo that will make the difference.
Olo has won games singlehandedly and it will take a strong defensive effort to stop him.
Tarangau coach and former Kumuls secondrower Dr James Naipao has to devise a strategy to blunt Olo’s strengths and neutralise his threat from dummy-half.
While Tarangau have a lot of speed to burn with Gulf Isapea skipper Barry Pekaea, the Forova brothers Jojo and Puti, Leo Samuel and Moses Nini in their pacey backline, they will be pressed to perform against a resilient Brothers outfit.
Likely starting line-ups: Brothers – Ben Wemin (full-back), Noxsy Norman, Jeffrey Isaac (wings), Rex Maima, Presley Soto (centres), Tilix Kawage (five-eighth), Tony Wemin (half-back), Gordon Isaac, Ian James (props), Stanley Olo (hooker), Allan Soto, John Supa (second-row), John Mondo (lock). Reserves: Wari Ora, Mathew Kope, Alu Mckiwa, Brian Robert.
Tarangau – Jojo Forova (full-back), Puti Forova, Leo Samuel (wings), Moses Nini, Barry Pekaea (centres), Solomon Pokari (five-eighth), Samson Jerike (half-back), Paul Kingston, Junior Levi (props), Supa George (hooker), Manu Kame, Danny Emiabo (second-row), Ben Bip (lock). Reserves: Steven Pokari, Bruce Kerenga, Alex Khay, Andrew Unba.