Rebels bag Bros title

Normal, Sports

The National, Monday March 10th, 2014


FORMER rugby sevens national champions Kimbe Rebels have sounded their intentions for this weekend’s National Provincial Championships.

This follows the Rebels overpowering two-day performance to win the Brothers 40th Anniversary Invitational tournament at the Monier Bava Park yesterday.

The Pacific MMI-sponsored Rebels from the West New Britain Province beat surprise package SLS Cowboys of Gerehu Stage Two 36-10 to claim the Cup and K10,000 winners prize-money before a capacity crowd.

The win has sounded a warning to teams taking part in the NPC as the Rebels plan to dominate with the inclusion of the Rebels Team Two as well.

The Rebels thrown into a tough pool with the Daru Stingrays, the Black Orchids of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Nova, were all class with their entertaining island style of rugby.

After collecting the Black Orchids, their own Kimbe Sevens on the New Guinea Islands circuit, the Rebels are certainly back on track as the dominant team in the country.

Rebels skipper and former PNG Pukpuk flyer Gina Ponda said winning three consecutive tournaments has set them up well to re-claim the national champions tag this weekend.

Ponda said his team was pushed to the limited in this competition as it did force them to take another step up to ensure they dominated.

Ponda said their Rebels Team Two outfit filtered with a host of their emerging talent will also be looking to make it an all Kimbe affair this weekend. 

The Rebels showed their staying ability to beat Cup main dangers in Port Moresby Harlequins in the quarter-finals and Morobe Hammerheads under the helm of former Pukpuk Aiem Pilokos 12-5 in the semi-finals.  

Whilst the Cowboys showed a lot of character just to get to the Cup final, they were beaten by a more experienced Rebels outfit that enjoyed the finishing prowess of PNG Sevens internationals Albert Levi Junior and Henry Liliket.

The speed merchants entertained Port Moresby residents with their try scoring feats over the two days.

In the Cup final, the Cowboys under the coach Petero Kilori managed to hold off the Rebels in the opening exchanges with player of the tournament Stanis Susuve, Tui Fitiao, Jack Raboni and Dean Manale threatening. 

But the Rebels defensive line was steadfast and when Liliket was given that opening he stepped into high gear with Levi Junior finishing off in style for their opening try.

The Cowboys to their credit hung in there until Henry Wartovo punched the left flank before handing off to Ponda who threw off a tackle from Cowboys Kilori Susuve to score for a handy 12-0 to half-time. Another strong run from Wartovo saw Ponda go over for his second-try to open the flood-gates for tries to former international Leo Tikot Junior, Hensley Peter, Gilberstin Bewa and Levi Junior to shut the latter out for the win.