Tarangau soar over Defence in POM rugby league play-offs

Normal, Sports

The National

HEKARI Tarangau and Butterflies have set a date next weekend to meet in the do-or-die match after defeating Hawks and Defence respectively in the first finals games of the Port Moresby Rugby League competition on Sunday.
Hawks were the first to hang their boots up in a tough encounter against Peter Oresi’s men, the Butterflies, defeating them 14-8 as the Hanuabada team were sent packing back to the big village.
The main game of the first finals between Kawaso Defence and Hekari Tarangau went down to the wire, which saw the warders come back from a 14-4 half-time deficit to pull off a tight one-point victory, 16-15.
The soldiers scored through halfback Nicky Omaro and lock foward Frank Kawage in the first half while centre Peter Bip was the sole try scorer for the warders.
Poor ball control and uncompleted sets cost Defence the game in the second half as their opponents converted their chances into points, sending outside centre Michael Keith to score an unconverted try in the 52nd minute.
Coming off the bench with much more hustle and bustle reserve forward George Orepa exploded onto a Keith pass to cross for a four pointer in the 56 minute sending the game into a tight finish, 14-12 to Defence.
Defence halfback Nicky Omaro slotted a field goal in the 65th minute to give his side potential game breaking lead 15-12.
But protecting a three point lead proved the wrong mind set for the soldiers as Tarangau’s wide-running fullback Richard Girai dashed to the line in the 76th minutes to cross for a match winner.