THE National Capital District Governor’s Christmas Cup qualifier between Morata teams Star Brothers and Steelers ended in controversy at the Kone Tigers Oval yesterday.
Last night judiciary chairman Jamuga Stone was forced to make a decision on referee James Bon and touch judge Stanley Dani’s call to disallow a last-minute try by Steelers.
The judiciary was deliberating over the call last night.
If the match is not awarded to Brothers, who led 10-8 at full time, a second rematch would ensure the New Years Day grand final is pushed back.
Seconds before fulltime time, Brothers were leading 10-8, before a Steelers player grabbed the ball from an opposition player and raced to the line to score.
But Dani ruled the Steelers player was off-side from the restart, thus nullifying whatever play ensued.
The decision was immediately disputed by the Steelers officials and players, who claimed their player had gained possession of the ball in a fair contest.
Earlier in the day, Brothers beat City Punishers 10-6 and Steelers edged Back Page 8-4 to qualify for the second hit out in the afternoon.
Brothers coach Andy Andiki and sponsor Steven Bui and Steelers coach Nixon Kolo refused to comment on the incident after the controversial ending. Port Moresby Suburban Sports Association chairman Billy Aki said the first cup semi-final would be between H6 Knights and either Brothers or Steelers today, depending on the outcome of the judiciary deliberations.
In the second cup semi-final, reigning champions Hohola Freeway Bumpers lock horns with 9-Mile Giants. Both semi-finals are scheduled to be played at Ipi Park, Hohola. Aki said all the cup, plate and bowl finals would be confirmed in today. - The National
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