ROTEK Cowboys turned the Gerehu Touch finale on its head last Saturday, sealing their win with only one try five minutes into second half to win 4-0, after having to withstand opponents Dekenai Eagles’ dominant display throughout the entire match.
Running on as favourites, the black outfit had very little to show in the opening stages, as their opponents mounted pressure early and shut out any attacking weaponry.
The Eagles, once again with their regulars Iava Ume and the Langers’ brothers at the helm, stirred everything from possession to territory, except master the art of scoring.
With first half gone and locked at 0-0, the boys from the west re-entered with a little more direction and a clear return to the basics.
Peter Titi and Beto Johns work up the rucks slowly asked a little too much of the Eagles’ defence, and paved the way for fullback John Yagas to cross the line in the corner, for the first and only points of the match.
However, Sarivita Kairi missed the conversion.
Yagas’ try came off brilliant backline play by David Tore Susuve and Patrick Kairi. Titi burst through for another potential try later in the half but was called back.
With five minutes to go and the whole of Gerehu up on their feet, a little altercation between players on-field, drew supporters in as well and eventually led to a halt in the match.
Finally bringing the situation under control, the organisers agreed on technicality and awarded the match to the leaders at stoppage time, the Rotek Cowboys.
“It was an unfortunate ending to a very good final. Eagles were the better side for most of the final.
“It was just basics for my team, not doing too much expensive stuff and completing our sets,” coach Ratu Sirvese Kilori said.
“This win is for our sponsors, Rotek, Theresa Parah and Leon Buskens for standing behind this team in the tough times,” he added.
Kilori, in his capacity as a member of the executive, thanked finals sponsor Russell Wavik for the trophies and shields, as well as City Pharmacy Limited (CPL) for the player incentives, which will be officially presented tomorrow.
The B grade final ended in 0-0 at extra time, with both teams, Bulldogs and Panthers, sharing the shield, as joint winners.