New Guinea Islands claim U16 title

Sports

By MELTON PAIS
NEW Guinea Islands Under-16s surprised Southern with a 32-0 win in the first game of the National Schools U16 Rugby League Championship match yesterday at the National Football Stadium Oval 2.
The bigger more assured NGI proved too much for Southern using their speed out wide where they scored most of the tries while halfback Steven Kollen converted five of the six tries.
The NGI led 16-0 at halftime and piled on another 16 points in the second 40 minutes.
NGI coach Jesse Alunga, a former Agmark Gurias winger, said their game plan had been to dominate the ruck before giving their backs a look.
“We’ve got a lot of speed in the backs so that’s where we scored most of our tries,” Alunga said.
Alunga said the NGI had little preparation but seemed to click against their over-matched opponents.
“We all met in Port Moresby on Sunday and trained together on Monday,” Alunga said.
Alunga said memebers of the team came from West and East new Britain togther and met up with the players from New Ireland over the weekend.
He said only students from schools in New Ireland, East New Britain and West New Britain represented the NGI U16.
“We didn’t have any players from schools in Manus and Bougainville were selected in the U16s, U18s and the girls team because they never had the chance to play selection trial matches r last month,” Alunga said.
“For the U16 side, we gather yesterday, fixed the team, and worked on our combinations and we came up with the perfect result.”
Alunga said his first target was to win the first round and things panned out well for them from there.
NGI U16 captain and the coach’s sone Mark Alunga is a student of Kimbe Secondary School, who played for the junior Kumuls last year, said winning the U16 division was an honour.
Alunga said the feeling was great because they had won their matches easily and going undefeated.
He said having his father as his coach was an additional motivation for him to put more into the team. Results: Tues, Sept 11 – Rd 1 – NGI 32 Southern0, Northern 8 Highlands 4; Rd 2 – NGI 32 Highlands 14, Northern 8 Southern 8; Rd 3 – NGI 32 Northern 0, Highlands 18 Southern 0.

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