The National, Tuesday October 15th, 2013
By HENRY MORABANG
PORT Moresby Vipers reject Anthony Abavu inspired the Dona Minas Eels to a 20-18 nail-biting victory over Red Soil Pukpuks in the Koiari Rugby League A grade grand final at Iarowari High School Oval in Sogeri on Sunday afternoon.
Abavu scored two tries in each half of the match and had a hand in two others to spark off a fight back after trailing 12-0 in the early part of the game.
Outside centre Benny Sedrick of Pukpuks got the ball rolling when he scored a converted try before hooker Simien Eddy planted another over the white line to lead 12-0. The conversions were successfully potted by five-eighth Richard Ahari and prop Biny Max for the handy lead.
The heavens opened for the usual Sogeri afternoon drizzle but that did not deter the 2,000 spectators who braved the rain to watch the first ever Sogeri Rugby League grand final to come to an end.
The Eels regrouped to send fullback Habang Kavi over the corner for a try before Abavu, using his Dobo Warriors experience in the tough Port Moresby rugby league competition, barged over the tryline to narrow the score to 8-12 at halftime.
In the second half, the Eels came back strongly.
The Eels forwards led by hardworking Dona Kidu, Mervyn Geita Iubu Laka mounted attacks on the Pukpuks defence before Abavu charged over to score and take the lead 14-12.
That followed with another beautiful try to Junior Masket to take a 20-12 lead.
The Pukpuks hit back and their repeated attacks winger Benjamin Jay pounce on the ball on the try line to make it 20-18.