The National Monday, December 13, 2010
By ELIZABETH VUVU
TOMARINGA Royals are the new national rugby sevens champions after defeating East New Britain Kaias One 24-19 in the Export Larger PNG National Sevens cup final yesterday at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo.
Royals, who were one of six teams from the host province, were given the honour of representing Pomio district, and made the cup final after disposing of defending champions Kimbe Rebels 26-15 in a tense cup semi-finals yesterday.
Kaias team one made the cup playoff an all-East New Britain affair when they edged Port Moresby side Capitals 24-15 in their semi-finals.
The cup final lived up to expectation with PNG sevens speedster Albert Levi Jr, who was later named player of the tournament, scoring Royal’s first try which Ase Boas converted for a 7-0 lead.
Kaias equalised immediately when Jason Missien crossed leaving the scores deadlocked at 7-7.
Royals’ former junior Pukpuk Bobby Pau showed some electrifying pace when he scored his side’s second.
Pau’s brother Michael helped himself to Royals’ third for the afternoon for a half-time lead of 17-7.
Kaias injected some urgency to their game after the break trying to keep up with Royals’ blistering pace but conceded the first try of the second period to Eric Kaiat to trail 24-7.
Kaias regrouped to score a converted try to Israel Eliab after after some good lead-up work by Kumul Pidi Togap narrowing the margin to 10 points, 24-14.
Missien scored his second, an unconverted try just before full time for the final scoreline which gifted Royals the cup as well as K10,000 in prize money .
PNG seven’s national coach, Shane Howarth, who also refereed some pool matches, said the level of rugby at the tournament was high and like other domestic tournaments such as the Kimbe and Frangipani sevens this year was good for the development of the code.
He said the tournament was great, adding that it was good to see two local teams in the cup final.
Howarth also commended Goroka rugby union for sending three teams to Kokopo and showing up established centres like Port Moresby and Lae.
On the representative front, a 12-man team will be announced this week for the Darwin Sevens next month.
Howarth said there was so much talent on display and it would be a hard task to choose the best.
Meanwhile, in the bowls final, New Ireland Drongos One pocketed K1,000 beating fellow New Irelanders Drongos Two 28-17 and in the plate final, it was a one-town show as Goroka Brumbies overcame Goroka Silverbacks 26-19 for the K2,000 prize.