By Bret Keleka
PNG and Fiji have won the finals titles on the line today, in super hot conditions both sides showed their stuff to notch comfortable wins.
In a day in which rugby was a festival, PNG and Fiji leave Apia Park with the valuable silverware today.
In the first matchup it was the speed of Vanuatu up against the aggression and straight running of PNG. In the end it was the extra size and go forward ability of PNG that saw them get home 41-3. Both these sides were in the same game last year and Vanuatu is for sure closing the gap on their rivals.
In an expansive and talented display of positive rugby both sides were itching to have a go, every attack was greeted with respect and copybook defence. PNG were like a sharp instrument as they went about their task of slicing up the middle of the Vanuatu forwards and inside backs. What they received in return was a bunch of men that were equal to the task and worked hard on D.
Big number 8 Joshua Posu caused havoc running at PNG, at first he was stopped, but he worked tirelessly for the full match and gained yards more and more as the match went on. Gallant D did continue for the Vanuatu side and it was even the little inside backs that were doing a massive amount of tackling, in particular Lawrence Kalo in the number 10 jersey was busy and effective in the tackle.
Vanuatu were remarkable at snaffling the loose ball, they were into the tackles and got turnovers galore for their hard work. Every time they returned the ball and the spirit and play dished out by both sides was a treat for the crowd.
In the end bigger won the day, PNG played to their natural strengths and were relentless in the strategy to go up the middle. They rattled off 6 tries in the end, but each was earned.
Vanuatu came second on the score sheet, however they have narrowed the gap significantly on last year and the outing will have them eager to be more and more competitive next season.