The National, Monday November 11th, 2013
THE drought continues for the Black Orchids with PMMI Kimbe Rebels snatching victory at the death with a 28-23 win in the cup final before a packed Hutjena Oval in Buka yesterday.
The Rebels also pocketed the K20,000 winners’ prize-money, while the hosts picked up K10,000 following an action-filled two-day competition.
The Black Orchids have been knocking on the door with successive cup final losses within a month.
The team from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) recently lost to the Madang Mad Gauns in the Malangan Invitational Sevens Cup final last month.
For the Rebels, the win has been after a long slog at several tournaments over the past two years without success on the circuit.
The West New Britain outfit with the inclusion of prolific try scorer Albert Levi Junior (pictured) paid dividends as the Matupit speedster bagged a hat-trick of tries to secure the victory.
He claimed the tournament top try scorer’s award as well.
Other try scorers were Hubert Vitolo and Gare Ponda.
The home side with the inclusion of Lae’s Jackson Pato held his own against more well versed sevens counterparts to also score five tries.
Tsitom Semoso, Chris Kakah, Pato and a double to Pukpuk winger Hubert Tseraha showed they were capable of matching it with the best.
Former East New Britain Kaias and Rebels playmaker Eric Kaiat and halfback Semoso were the pick of the Black Orchids.
Semoso was awarded the player of the tournament for his efforts.
Team manager Kelly Havara said it came down to kicking the conversions that made the difference.
“While it is disappointing to know that the win was with in reach, I can say the rugby union was definitely a winner today after this highly successful tournament,” Havara said.
The Black Orchids beat title holders Aroma Coast 12-5 in extra-time while the Rebels beat the Madang Mad Gauns 17-5 in the respective cup semi-finals.
Kimbe Rebels team two beat Malasang Traders team one for the plate and K8,000 in prize-money.
The Traders collecting K4,000.
The Kimbe teams winning a total of K28,000 for their efforts.
While Hangan Pirates beat Black Rookies for the bowl to collect K3,000 and the Rookies K1,500 for their efforts.
Rookies Rabi Solomon was picked as the best forward of the tournament.