DEFENCE will play Harlequins next week in the Port Moresby rugby union grand final after snatching a thrilling one point victory over a brave Brothers side 20-19 in the premier grade elimination final at Bava Park yesterday.
Despite scoring three tries to Defence’s two ,Brothers were out kicked in the end courtesy of fullback Tisa Kautu, who scored the first try of the match in the 4th minute from an overlap and kicked two conversions and two penalties for a personal tally of 15 points.
Kautu’s 77th minute penalty goal proved the game breaker with the scores at 19-17.
For Brothers, Douglas Guise at flyhalf played a leading hand inspiring his team to a 12-7 halftime advantage after scoring a try and laying on another for halfback Scott Susuve.
Guise’ opening try for Bros had his flair stamped on it as he stepped and jinked his way through Defence’s frontline and sold a dummy before carrying over the cover defence at the 20th minute.
Guise was at it again minutes later when he sparked a break from halfway which saw the ball go through several pairs off hands before Susuve completed the movement.
The inevitable fight back from Defence started after the break when nippy centre Adeck Naio motored through a gapping hole from 40m out only to knock-on over the line.
It proved inconsequential as Defence flyhalf Titus Longuni sliced through Brothers defence not long after off the back of some vigorous rucking by the men in green.
A 14-12 scoreline ensued and the tactical kicking by both sides increased as the Bava crowd were treated to an aerial chess match for most of the half, punctuated only by a Kautu penalty in the 54th minute which furthered Defence’s lead 17-12.
With eight minutes to go Guise scored his second, and what looked like the match winner, next to the uprights after a botched Defence lineout.
At 19-17, Bros only needed to play territory and tighten up their defence for the home stretch.
It was not to be as Defence rallied back to pressure the retreating Bros and earn a penalty 30m out for Kautu to step up and deliver the coup de grace.