Rangers to battle Pirates in final

Tigers players tackling Rangers second-rower Limbi Harry.

TENT City Rangers secured a grand final berth against 14B Pirates after they beat Morobe Tigers 14-12 in the A-grade preliminary final of the Lae Rugby League competition on Sunday.
Rangers won their maiden premiership in 2015 against East Taraka Spiders at the Lae Rugby League Ground.

Tigers forward Moses Miugle taking on the Rangers defence.

In the other preliminary finals on Sunday, Royals beat 13A Bulldogs 18-14 and Royals shut out Miles United 14-0 in the Under-20 and women’s divisions respectively.
On Saturday, Pirates beat Miles 19-12 (U20), Kamkumung Crushers edged East Taraka Spiders 4-0 (women) and Pirates triumphed over Royals 8-4 (A grade).
Under coach Ismael Balkawa, Rangers wasted little time as they opened the scoring with a Nickson Waki try which halfback Joshua Ringo converted for a 6-0 lead.

Pirates fullback and former Lae Tigers halfback Mafu Kalas offloading possession in a tackle by Royals players.

Ill-discipline saw Tigers concede a penalty near their tryline, allowing Ringo to kick two more points for an 8-0 lead.
However, the scoreline did not stop Tigers forwards Yuento Simon, Kepas Willinget, Tommy Simon, Jimmy Sino and lock Dominic Peter from combining to send winger Duncan Miall over for an unconverted try.

Rangers prop Noah Kuu driven back in a tackle.

Tigers’ persistence saw second-rower Tommy Simon crossing over for the Executive Security Systems-sponsored side’s second try with Miall kicking a sideline conversion for a 10-8 lead.
But their lead was short-lived as Rangers crossed for another try via some ordinary defence and Ringo made sure of the conversion to re-take the lead (14-10).

Royals winger Sharkling Ray taking on the 14B Pirates defence in the first A-grade preliminary final of the Lae Rugby League competition on Saturday. Royals lost 4-8.

After the break, the Dennis Miall-coached Tigers closed the gap to 12-14 with a 28m penalty conversion.
But unforced errors in the Tigers attack saw Rangers hold on for a showdown against Pirates.
Rangers manager Pepsi Anton was excited about the win and thanked their major sponsor, International Food Corporation, for the support in Lae’s premier rugby league competition.

Pirates second-rower Emmanuel Mukuindi attempting to break the Royals defence.

“With the sponsor coming on board this year, it had boosted the morale of our players to reach the finals,” he told The National ahead of Saturday’s grand final.
“Although we had Coronavirus disruptions along the way, I had faith in my players that we’d reach the grand final.”