The National, Monday November 23rd, 2015
By JACK AMI
ROYALS claimed the men’s and women’s titles in the Port Moresby Rugby League finals yesterday with similar second half surges.
At the Murray Barracks Oval, the Black Swan International-sponsored teams ran out victors over the Parisco Brothers 26-14 (men) and PNG Ports Corporation Souths 14- 12 (women) in front of a crowd of about 5000.
Royals men received K11,000 and the women K5000 as well as the South Pacific Brewery shields.
Runners-up Brothers settled for K6000 and Souths K3000. In the Under-19 final, Brothers beat Defence 10-8.
Royals five-eighth John Simon Wamil was named the man-of-the-match.
Royals’ Freda Waula bagged the player-of-the-match for the women’s final.
The best forward went to Royals Simon Peters and best back to Brothers Rex Maima while for the women Souths Nancy Digal (forward) and Royals Naomi Kaupa (back) recieved awards. Royals won their first title in 19 years with coach Steve Gunua steering his side to tame a star-studded Brothers outfit.
Brothers had the match but errors opened the door for Royals to capitalise earning the boys in blue three consecutive tries in the second half.
Trailing 16-10 at the break Royals equalised in the 46th minute through a try by second-rower Lumba Ketowa converted by Wabo Sanny.
Royals captain Michael Francis crashed over to give his side the lead 20-14. Then in the 68th minute Francis claimed his second after chasing a short kick by Wamil to put his side ahead by 12 after halfback Karis Peter added the extras to make it 26-14.
Brothers dominated the first half with a double to hooker Stanley Olo four minutes into the game and along with a brace of penalties to Hobart Paul’s conversions saw the Brethren lead 16-0 but Royals hit back with tries to winger William Aquila and Supa George to cut back the deficit to six by halftime.