Highlands claim U16 title with one-point victory


HIGHLANDS continued their Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited National Schools Rugby League dominance as they claimed the Under-16 championship with a 1-0 win over Northern in Port Moresby yesterday.
Halfback Jordan Francis kicked the winning field goal on the stroke of halftime at the Oil Search National Football Stadium. Highlands and Northern displayed some entertaining rugby league in the final despite both sides each playing three round-robin games earlier in the day, but the match ended without a try.
In the third-placed playoff, New Guinea Islands (NGI) shut out Southern 16-0. NGI second-rower and two-try hero Ben Goru starred in the win while five-eighth Elias Makoni bagged a four-pointer. Southern were unable to score a try, thanks to NGI’s impressive defence.
League chairman Dr Benedict Yaru announced a 35-man squad which was dominated by Highlands and Northern players.
Highlands team manger Francis Ray said he was thrilled with their dominance. “We are excited and I’m hoping we can continue the momentum in the Under-18 championships,” he said.
“Highlands has been producing a lot of Papua New Guinea Kumuls and SP Hunters players. Our dominance in the tournament only reflects the abundance of talents back home.”