The colossal clash the Tongan community has eagerly awaited for twelve long months, will finally come to an end this Saturday, as Logan Inala Tonga prepare to take on defending champions Alamuhu at St Brendan’s Rugby League club, that will headline the final round robin games in the second week of the 2016 Tupi Cup.
The mouthwatering grand final replay between Logan Inala and Alamuhu will determine whether the young and rapidly emerging Logan Inala, is ready to assume the number one position of Tongan rugby on the south side of the river, or if the unwaverinng traditional powerhouse that is Alamuhu will again be able vanquish another challenger to its throne for another year.
Logan Inala’s monstrous pack led by lion heart captain Chazz Mahina and fellow backrow lieutenants Simana Halaifonua, Vili Tuakalau and Victor Mafi will hold the key for the green machine’s chances in the engine room, while classy flyhalf Alex Fogavini and longtime centre enforcer Sione Piutau will look to run operations out the back.
Alamuhu’s experienced forwards led by Johnny Kalauta, Paul Mafi and James Sua will take the star Logan Inala forwards head on, in a battle that could ultimately decide the final outcome of the match, while the experienced Sebastian Filipe and Siaosi Taufa will look to take opporunities to unleash the dangerous Kalavite Kaloni, Sione Feao and Semisi Uhatafe.
Aside from bragging rights, the south side shoot out will also have massive implications in the final playoff standings, where the loser of the match could find themselves bundled out of contention for the grand final altogether.
If Alamuhu is defeated, their quest to go back to back is effectively over. Therefore, in order to absolutely guarantee their place in the grand final, the defending champs need to take care of the in form Logan Inala outfit.
In order for Logan Inala to guarantee their position in the grand final, the boys of Mohetaha need a victory by any means necessary against Alamuhu to ensure they give themselves a chance to go one better than the previous year.
To add further spice to the equation, if Logan Inala lose to Alamuhu by more than 7 points and fail to secure a bonus point (either by scoring 3 or more tries or finishing within 7 points), the boys in green could miss out altogether if the Northside Tongan Barbarians go onto beat the Northside Tongan Vikings with a bonus point victory and end up with a better points for and against differential.
The predicament for the Northside teams means, it will ensure the Barbarians throw everything but the kitchen sink at the new Vikings outfit, to give themselves the best chance of progressing themselves.
However, not discounting the Vikings boys, the men in black and white will be looking for an upset to secure their first victory in the tournament, especially with the Barbarians missing a number of key players through injury or availability particularly standout Barbarians halfback Lua Vailoaloa.
The many possible story lines will ensure all teams not leaving anything to chance, in order to stay in control of their own destiny and will absolutely guarantee another great weekend of Queensland Tongan football.