MAMBLA Sharks defeated Kui Raiders 4 – 2 in the Mt Hagen league A grade grand final match held at the Rebiamul oval on Sunday.
The low scoring match typified the grinding , defence oriented style of the competition but the intensity was high.
Sharks Man of the Match and workhorse Steven Pulgim kicked a penalty for a dangerous tackle on halfway for a 2-0 lead after five minutes.
Raiders replied in kind with a penalty of their own later in the half after referee Tony Kuim blew his whistle for a tackle infringement by Sharks. With the scores at 2-2 both teams could not crack eithers defence for the remiander of the first stanza.
Sharks played a tight style with few mistakes and waited for Raiders to open up but that did not evenuate.
Sharks forward Steven Pulgim was knocked out from a high tackle by Raiders enforcer Simon Buna in Raiders territory and a penalty was awarded with Sharks hooker David Saka converting for a 4-2 advantage.
Sharks forward pack in particular a resuscitatedSteven Pugim, David Saka, Patrick Jones and Mal Raim defended like men possessed and sucessfully held out Raiders for the remainder of the match to claim the premiership.
Typical of the Hagen league the match produced few opportunities for expansive play reulting in an arm-wrestle between both sides with a penalty deciding the game in the end.
The match was witnessed by representatives of the competition’s major sponsor the National Gaming Control (NGCB) Board in front of a packed crowd.
Meanwhile, in the other grand final games in the lower grades Mamabla Sharks defeated Brother 3-2 in the U19 match and Kagamuga Warriors defeated Maca Suru 4-0 in U17.