Uso’s tri­umph in grand fi­nal

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Uso’s have won this year’s Porirua City Tag open men’s com­pe­ti­tion fol­low­ing a thrilling grand fi­nal shootout.

The five-month tour­na­ment, played weekly on Onepoto Park, came to a stun­ning con­clu­sion with The Bears and Uso’s tied 6-all at the end of reg­u­la­tion time on Fe­bru­ary 16.

Uso’s were the first to score af­ter they cap­i­talised on a rare mis­take by the op­po­si­tion, lead­ing to ju­bi­la­tion and re­lief among play­ers and sup­port­ers.

‘‘Ev­ery time we scored, they replied,’’ Uso’s team mem­ber Tolu Ti­u­malu said.

This is the team’s sec­ond ti­tle in three years. They have been to­gether some time, and can count Bux­ton Popali’i, Rob­bie Fruean, Ala­p­ati Leiua and Nigel Hunt among former play­ers.

A num­ber of the Porirua City Tag com­peti­tors were in­volved at last week’s na­tion­als.

Ti­u­malu says as well as the so­cial el­e­ment, tag foot­ball is an ex­cel­lent way to stay fit and keep balls skills in­tact dur­ing sum­mer. ‘‘It was a tough year for us in terms of fund­ing – we didn’t have any uni­forms to start the com­pe­ti­tion – but we got it to­gether at the right time. We’re brothers, through thick and thin.’’

Tag foot­ball is a hy­brid of touch and rugby league, with tags ripped by op­po­nents from a player’s hips to ef­fect a tackle.

There are eight play­ers per side and kicks are al­lowed at any time.

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