The JPG Waghi Tumbe rugby league team from Jiwaka Province have created history by winning the preliminary finals with a 31-16 win over a seasoned PRK Mendi Muruks side thus booking the last spot and their first ever Digicel Cup Grand Final with a thrilling performance at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
The boys from Jiwaka took to the field with a hunger and determination for a Grand Final spot and their efforts have proved that they are Grand Final ready come next weekend.
In a display of tremendous footy from the Joe Frank led side, the Waghi Tumbe came on top with an 18 points lead to Muruks 10 points at half time.
In the second half, the boys from Mendi put up a fight with Leon Undupia leading his boys from the left wing however could not withstand a determined Tumbe side who raked in two more tries and a field goal to push the lead further to 31 points over Muruks 16 points on the 78th minute.
First time coach Mr Baundo Abba who was overjoyed at the win said that he is proud of his boys for delivering such a strong performance and securing their first ever grand final appearance in the Digicel Cup since the club re-entered the semi-professional rugby league competition in 2014.
“As a young and inexperienced coach, it’s a history for me and also for Jiwaka Waghi Tumbe for us to make it into the grand finals and so I’m very happy and pleased with my boys.”
“I am also very happy with Joe Frank for not letting us down and leading the boys well into the grand finals.”
“As a captain, he did not let us down and as a leader he had to fight hard and now we’ve won this game and so I am very happy with his performance today,” Abba said.
The former Waghi Tumber player who has debuted this year as a coach for his team said that there are however a lot of areas that they need to improve on before taking on the Lae Snax Tigers in the Grand Final Match this weekend.
Man of the Match and Captain of the JPG Waghi Tumbe Joe Frank also nicknamed the Six Cylinder by fans said that they will go back to Jiwaka and continue to work hard before they can face the Tigers.
The captain also expressed his thanks and gratitude to coach Baundo for his efforts in getting the boys game ready for this season of Digicel Cup and also the Jiwaka Provincial Government for continuing to support them all throughout the season.
“I take this time to thank our coach Baundo Abba, although inexperienced, he has led us well with the support of Kupun Wisil right behind him.”
“I also want to thank the Jiwaka Provincial Government as well as the few business houses in Jiwaka for their support throughout this season,” Frank said.
The JPG Waghi Tumbes will now take on competition leaders the Lae Snax Tigers in the Digicel Cup Grand Final on Sunday 12th September 2021.