Tears of joy were shed at the Lae Rugby League grounds yesterday afternoon as the Hela Wigmen romped home a 22-20 defeat over minor premiers, Lae’sNAX Tigers.
The win paid off well for the young Hela franchise, bagging them a grand final spot against the Agmark Rabaul Gurias this Sunday in Lae.
For the Tigers, the loss was heartbreaking as they ended their historical campaign in the 2014 Digicel Cup competition.
It was an emotional atmosphere at the Lae Rugby League ground as the Hela Wigmen defeated the Lae’sNAX Tigers for a grand final spot.
Chants of joy were echoed from the grandstand down to the main ground as players and officials broke down in tears.
Commitment, hardwork and perseverance paid off well for the Wigmen as they scored four successful tries.
The game was tough, as players from both teams put their bodies on the line in what they hoped would be their first grand final appearance.
However, certain decisions by the referee and touch judges nearly disrupted the game in the second half.
Jospeh Omae and Charlie Wabo led a youthful Hela team in an inspirational performance for a rugby-mad Hela province.
It was also a heartbreaking moment for the Lae’sNAX Tigers as their grand final hopes were shattered within 80 minutes of the game.
The loss was sour and didn’t go down well for most of the fans and supporters who turned up every weekend to support the Tigers.
However, much of the blame has been on their poor ball security throughout the game.
While playing for their teams, nothing beat the brotherhood bond between Wigmen’s Charlie Wabo and younger sibling Ate Bina Wabo from the Lae Tigers.
They’ve been at the forefront for their teams, with both setting up much of their team’s points.
In the other preliminary final at the Kalabond oval in Kokopo, Agmark Rabaul Gurias buried the Enga Mioks 38 points to 14 to book a grandfinal spot.
The Kalabond graveyard was packed to capacity as the Gurias took on the Mioks with a homecrowd advantage behind them.
The Gurias will now play the Hela wigmen in the grandfinal encounter this Sunday at the Lae Rugby League ground.
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