The National – Wednesday, June 29, 2011
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
WESTERN Force has defeated Souths 2-0 in the main game on Sunday at the Gomis rugby league oval in Mt Hagen.
After the weekend’s low-scoring encounter the Force maintained their lead in the Gomis points ladder after five rounds of the PNGRFL-affiliated competition.
A successful penalty goal by Force five-eighth Danny Aron in the 10th minute of the game ended up being the only points scored after 80 minutes of football.
Referee Tobias Wanume awarded the penalty for a high tackle on forward Andy Kay by Souths’ centre Rex Lape inside the Souths 20m.
Souths were also awarded two penalties during the course of the opening half but could not convert the opportunities to points and went into the break 2- 0 down.
Because of the wet weather and muddy conditions both sides kept the action in the middle of the rain-soaked field.
The simple strategy of sending runners through the middle of the ruck served to keep the mistake rate under control but the tackling was fierce.
Each side dished out punishment when on defence much to the delight of the crowd.
Souths’ forwards did not shirk the load rolling into enemy lines all day.
Force’s forwards led by Joseph Angra, Kay, Peter Rime with support from Aron made sure that the boys from Hela did not make inroads into their territory.
Just before fulltime, Wanume awarded a penalty to Souths 15m from the uprights but it was not converted and the Force held on for a hard-fought victory.
Force sponsor Rau Kobale, who was watching the game was pleased his side braved the conditions to come away with the win.
He said his team comprised students attending Hagen Park and Hagen Secondary schools in the town with the inclusion of some boys living near the Gomis field.
They played intelligently and adapted to the conditions while matching Souths in intensity and aggression.
Kobale added the win had reinforced his side’s confidence and they were now aiming to hold on to the top position on the table.
Meanwhile, league president Billy Gau commended the 10 clubs which have participated in this year’s competition and making it a success.
Gau said he decreased the clubs from 18 in previous years to make this season more competitive.
He said each club had done well to consistently field a senior grade, U19, and U17 side.
All clubs registration were completed in the fifth week of competition.