By BURI GABI
LB Tornadoes lifted the Southern rugby league nines Challenge Cup taking the top prize to Gavuone village in the Marshall Lagoon after defeating last year’s champions Rovanama in the grand final last Friday at the Lloyd Robson Oval.
It was a sweet victory for the Gavuone side after trying unsuccessfully to claim the title over the past six years.
They eventually turned those luckless years into triumph claiming the title 20-12 in front of a vocal crowd.
Boasting the services of rugby union converts including current PNG sevens representative Kojo Ware, Rupert Tete and Racqarawa Moere, who played blinders for their village team to defeat Rovanama.
The services of several KAL Magani players, made no difference for Rovanama, who simply could not match the speed and creativeness of the Tornadoes outfit, that ran rings around them before walking away with the Cup and a cash prize of K6,000.
Runners-up Rovanama settled for K3,000, while in the Plate division, Lako took out the K2,000 prize money, Porebada Broncos won the Bowl and Veasi Knights from Papa won the pennant after defeating Gulf Sapea.
Tournament director Ivan Ravu commended all 74 teams for competing in the tournament throughout the week.
He also made a special mention of the Gulf Sapeas, who remained in the city for the regional tournament after the recent PNG Games.
Ravu also stated that competition at the top categories especially in the Cup and Plate divisions was entertaining and to a good standard displayed by the teams from rural villages in the region.
According to Ravu, the competition is now looking more promising for next year, with all teams giving their stamp of approval to the organisers for the successful staging of the Southern region nines tournament.
Ravu also thanked all stakeholders and sponsors, who assisted and making particularly Sports Events Limited for providing assistance in terms of food rations for the 74 teams who participated.