Yenda have taken out the league tag Group 20 title

Yenda have taken out the Group 20 leaguetag title in a 14-12 nail-biter against the Black and Whites. 

It was a try by Amelia Lolotonga within two minutes of the siren that got Yenda over the line. 

Yenda Coach Sam Loaloadravu gave the girls full credit for the win. 

“We set a goal this year just to make the final. I’m still in awe of the girls,” he said. 

“Today, it all belongs to them. A great game of football was played out there today.” 

Maddison Payne opened strong for Yenda, giving them a 4-0 lead midway through the first half. 

With the scores leveled at half time, strong performances from both sides kept either side from scoring again until the last minutes of the game. 

Marta Varisa extended the Panther’s lead 12-6 with ten minutes to spare before a Yenda cross from Amelia Lolotonga brought them within two points. 

The final try by Lolotonga gave Yenda the four points they needed to win. 

For the coach, that last try was the match highlight.

“That last try was amazing. I wasn’t sure if it was a try or not at first, but when I saw the referee blow the whistle I couldn’t have been happier.” 

The win, he said, was all about the girls. 

“I told them today that it was for them, nothing to do with the coach or club. This was for them and the goal they set.”

Loaladravu said that the Panthers were more than worthy opponents. 

“I’ve got to commend the Black and Whites. They’re a team that always plays to the last whistle. That’s what it was today. Win or lose I’ve got great respect for them.” 

The competition between the two clubs has been tight all season.

They finished first and second on the end of season ladder with Yenda taking the minor premiership due to goal difference.

Yenda triumphed over the Black and Whites twice during the regular season, with a 14-6 win in round six and a 12-8 win in round 15.  

When they met in the semi-final it was the Black and Whites that walked away with a 18-14 win.

While it was hard to pick a single best on-field for his team, Loaladravu gave props to the Panther’s Lily-belle Misiloi for her performance. 

“She played her heart out today. What she did on and off the field, she played really well,” he said. 

With the winning try under her belt, it was Amelia Lolotonga who was voted best on field. 

“I’m feeling good. It was a great game,” she said. 

Even after the winning try, she was still humble. 

“I don’t know where that came from, but we worked hard. It’s been a big season.”