Magpies, Dragons claim Hevea Cup honours


AROMA Coast Taurama Siporo Magpies bagged another title, their second so far in 2019, when they claimed the inaugural Hevea rugby league nines cup at the National Football Stadium on Saturday.
The Magpies beat Port Moresby’s Paga Panthers 18-10.
The Hevea Cup which is an initiative of the Grass Skirt Project was a two-day event involving 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams.
Sponsor Brian Bell contributed K30,000 in prizes for the event.
The Magpies tamed Gulf Isou 22-10 in the semifinals while Paga stopped Buria Moskitos 8-4 to qualify for the cup final.
The Aroma Coast side under the guidance of coach Colin Geno proved that they are the premier nines team in the country after winning the PRL 9s two weeks ago.
The Magpies led by former Gulf Isou Ross Ravu, who was named man-of-the-match, carried their form from the last tournament.
In the women’s final, NCD Dragons, dominated by current and former PNG Orchids players, edged out Paga 14-12 with a Carol Francis four-pointer seconds before fulltime snatching the win from Paga.
Paga led 12-10 and with two minutes remaining before turning over possession which allowed the Dragons to work their way into the Panthers’ half for Francis’ try.
Lisa Dau was voted the player-of-the-match for her efforts.
Dau along with captain Carol Humeu, Catherine Anjo, Roswita Jack Kapo, Lilah Malabag, Joan Kuman and Vero Waula stood out for the Dragons, who beat Siporo Magpies 26-8 to make the decider.
Paga, who beat Kone Tigers 8-4 in the semifinal, had former Orchids winger Mala Mark, Vanessa Palme, Winnie Steven and Lavinia Boru making for an entertaining and intense final.
Hevea Booth, the mother of Grass Skirt Project founder Tahina, presented the wood-carved Hevea Cups to Magpies and Dragons at the end of the competition.
The well-organized event staged by current PNG Orchids forward Tahina Booth and coach David Westley had special guest and Grass Skirt Project ambassador Amelia Kuk up from Brisbane to promote gender equality and women’s issues.
The event also celebrated International Women’s Day which fell on Friday.