By ZACHERY PER
LAPIGOSA Eels took out the 2009-10 Shield and K500 in cash after defeating Hozae Raiders 6-1 in the Lapilo off-season rugby league grand final in front of a record crowd last Sunday.
The Eels win came after George Ubilie, the elder brother of PNG rugby league export Nicko Slain, scored the only try of the match to seal the game for Eels.
The try came in the dying stages of the second half.
However, Enga Mioks’ Pasu Avani injected some firepower in the Raiders’ attack, resulting in their opponents picking up two points from a penalty kick midway through the opening half.
Raiders were the first to register a point with a field goal to halfback Patel Pokawin few minutes into the first half.
Former Lahanis fullback Wasara Iya, did his best for the Raiders with support from Lavi Abe, Seme Sosol, Moxy Kuzuwe, Ron Ganezato, Dolby Aizo, Jasen Naks, Samez Aho, Zogu Seme, Kanex Abe and Effe Joe.
However, their efforts could not be converted into points, as Eels proved too strong in defence and attack.
The experience of Avani, Segi Nathan, Fano Mondo, Suke Lelo, Akiu Tapaka, Koki Huva, Hook Mata, Eric Kevin, Danny Norman, Kikiwo Wasimam, Mike Toksy, Alex Gosavo and Paul Takap had too much power over their opponents.
Raiders walked away with K300 and a trophy while in the reserve grade, Raiders won K300 with runners-up Siviri pocketing K250.
Ten teams participated in this year’s off-season competition. They were Raiders, Siviri, Brisbane Cowboys, Numunoni, Zugu Hege, Namaro, Sio Knights, Sio, Kafu, Kopero and West Uris.
League president Jeff Nathan thanked the teams and officials for the competition a success.
He is appealing potential sponsors to support the competition next season.
Nathan said they had no sponsor this year, but struggled to strive through the season.