The National, Monday 30th July 2012
PUKPUK five-eighth Wesley Rooney marched the Juggernauts into week two of the Port Moresby Rugby Football Union finals with a 23 point personal haul eliminating Motu Warriors from the 2012 finals race, 22-12.
Rooney kicked five penalties, and then scored the match winning try and converted it in a fiery elimination final. The 19-year-old even added a little spice to the final, potting two penalties from 50m out against the wind.
Juggernauts will now meet Defence, who lost to University 20-17 in the non-elimination final earlier on Saturday.
The Murray Barracks outfit came out on Saturday afternoon with all guns blazing and piled on two unanswered tries against the Piggies in the first 15 minutes.
The experienced Piggies pack of captain Ray Vagi, Wesley Thomas, Jims Rekisa, Willie Rikis and George Oki again stood the tests of their ‘running’ opposing pack, and replied with a try of their own from a drive off a lineout late into the half.
Sydney Wesleys young bulls led by Jeremy Buengen, Consie Bais and veteran Graham Sakora kept the game wider off the ruck all day but only let themselves down through poor ball handling.
Key changes on both sides of halftime proved the difference at the end, Uni Coach John Pangkatanas ‘checkmate’ move coming with Jackson Pato being switched from the centres to halfback role, and providing a bit more authority in the go forward.
Defence scored another try in the second, and the Piggies completed their day with a try to Wesley and winger Dean Manale.
University has sealed off the first finals spots for the A and Premier divisions. The Under 20s lost to Valley Hunters.