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U-19 thriller lit-up NFS

The Pepsi Capital Rugby Union Grand Final for the Under 19 Division saw the Uni Piggies defeating Nova with a 17-12 victory at Santos National Football Stadium (NFS) in Port Moresby on Saturday (19th August).

The match was a testament to hard work and determination from developing talents. Both sides have come a long way and appear as underdogs. They have strived through 15 rounds and made it through the semifinals.

With sports-imparted discipline and players' commitment, both teams have made it to the finishing end to determine the ultimate championship.

Both teams went toe-to-toe. It was a tight contest. Nova scored first and took a 7 points lead in the first half. Piggies responded and scored a first try and trailed with 5 points.

The Under-19 Grand Final set the Santos Stadium alight, as the highly-anticipated clash of the youths built excitement in the air. Die-hard fans were on their seats to bear witness to the thrilling showdown of hard work and skills.

It was a competitive game, as both teams showcased their prowess throughout the decider. The grand finalists have displayed remarkable performance, making it quite difficult to predict at first. The head-to-head battle was intense, with each team vying for the coveted title of the Pepsi CRU U19 champions.

Under inspirational coach Paul Joseph, who stepped in for the role after coach Koini Kidi left the team for work (Koini was a former Uni Piggies fly-half). Joseph coached the boys through the last three rounds leading up to the finals.

Coach Joseph was influential in the team’s success, especially coaching them in the last three rounds and leading them to the big dance.

Under the captainship of Nicky Ora, a developing talent, the boys headed for the decider, hoping for their ultimate championship dream.

“We managed to beat them (Nova) twice this season. The second round and the first finals two weeks ago,” coach Paul Joseph said.

“The grand final has a different story. They had to work hard and beat Harlequins last week, which put the momentum on their side.

“For the boys, the Gangloff Consulting University Piggies U-19, we are just happy to be part of this Saturday event.”

"Most of the boys have played the game for the first time. So the first few rounds were a struggle. I tried to teach the boys what rugby is all about.

“Credit to Koini Kidi. He has done a wonderful job to get the boys to understand the game and learn the rules to complement our club culture. He made it easy for me to step in and help.

Coach Joseph said they were looking forward to the challenge and knew that the Novas has worked hard to get through this grand final. But the Piggies emerged as the eventual victor though both teams went in as underdogs.

“The Piggies have come out of a week off, we worked hard to improve on what we did not do right.

“What we guarantee to the young players is that we are going to make you a better rugby player this season and getting into the finals is the bonus. They can now say that we can play rugby.”

Photo Credit: Pepsi Capital Rugby Union

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