By SENIORL ANZU
NARI Beetles are the winners of the inaugural IPI Christmas tournament in Lae after defeating IPI Eagles 6-2 in the A-grade grand final.
The off-season rugby league competition at 10-Mile along the Lae-Nadzab Highway was completed on a high note with a display of raw and unknown talents from the miles areas of Morobe.
From a round-robin match played during last Dec 23-29 between six teams from settlements in miles areas, Beetles and Eagles made it to the grand final after winning their respective pool matches.
The tournament was sponsored by the IPI Group of Companies with minor sponsors NARI, Hornibrook, HBS and Chemcare Limited.
The Beetles, comprising NARI employees and youths from the surrounding community at 10-mile, sweat it out to the last minute.
They eventually scored a much-needed four-pointer during golden point decision after both sides were held 2-2 at fulltime.
The game was forced into extra time with Eagles becoming the winners.
Other teams that participated included 4-Mile Eagles, 9-Mile Keras, 11-Mile Roots and Thai Mates (12-Mile).
The grand final was a brotherly affair as both teams are from 10-Mile.
Beetles A-Grade got the trophy while 4-Mile Eagles walked away with a shield after winning the B-Grade division.
Last week, the Beetles presented their trophy to the management of NARI Bubia, the sponsors of the team.
Tournament coordinator Morris Kate thanked the IPI Group and other business houses and organisations for supporting a peaceful and entertaining competition.
Kate said the idea behind the competition was to get the youths occupied in sports so that they stayed away from unethical habits during the festive season.
He said from past experience, the youths along the miles had taken home brews and drugs, and caused problems in the community.
However, it was not the case this season.
With the theme “trouble free,” he said the committee was able to ensure the residents and businesses celebrated a peaceful festive season.
He said the miles community was happy with the outcome of the initiative.
Kate added that another good thing was different miles residents, including employees and settlers, were able to get together, mingle around and develop new relationships, something which had never happened in the past.