The National, Tuesday November 5th, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
TARANGAU and Brothers have both been awarded a joint Port Moresby Rugby Football League (POMRFL) A grade premiership.
But it has come at a price with both clubs been slapped a total of K5000 in fines from the POMRFL judicial committee for their roles in disrupting the grand-final on Sunday.
The match was prematurely halted at the 77th minute after Tarangau players and officials disputed referee Guma Opi’s decision to rule against a try being scored by centre Moses Nini.
The judicial committee report stated that supporters from both sides were guilty of bringing the game into disrepute in the exchange of verbal abuses and eventually trading punches and throwing missiles at each other, following Opi’s ruling.
POMRFL chairman Samson Unage yesterday confirmed that both clubs will be fined K2,000 each with Tarangau a further K1,000 imposed for their supporter’s alleged physical assault on match referee Guma Opi.
Opi who was punched and kicked several times by two Tarangau officials believed to be serving Correctional Service (CS) officers yesterday said this was the first time he had experienced being attacked in this manner in his 28-year career as a whistle blower.
The veteran referee was assaulted in view of CS Minister Jim Simatab and Commissioner Martin Balthazar who were special guests at the match.
The judiciary committee comprised of Jamuga Stone and David Silovo found both clubs guilty under the second-offense law in the Port Moresby Rugby League’s constitution under section 28, sub-section 3 – clause (b). This is the second incident where both clubs had been involved in separate misconduct charges against referees this season.
The judiciary committee also deemed the match abandoned under the standard competition rules where it stipulates in part that the result of any match abandoned due to spectator and player violence or one team leaving the field before full-time shall be decided by the judiciary committee.
With this regard they also ruled a no contest and as such the game cannot be replayed under the standard competition rules section 14, clause (b).
Both said they came to the decision in the best interest of the game and believe it was an amicable solution for all parties concerned.
Both clubs will split the winner and runner-up prize-money of K40,000.