“To be honest, I didn’t expect this,” Toa, who plays scrum-half, said.
“I would say we grew a lot stronger as we got together as brothers, and we didn’t have problems with each other. We just came together as a united side and made sure we get the job done.”
Unity and perseverance is what led the Sea Eagles to a historic win in the Raro Cars Rugby League Competition 2019 on Saturday at the National Stadium in Nikao.
The side from Muri thumped last year’s champions Tupapa Panthers 26-6 to claim the premier title. The Sea Eagles also finished the competition undefeated – a feat which no other team has achieved to date.
“It’s a proud moment for us. We are also proud of everyone who took part in this journey to bring us this far and also those who played in the final,” Toa said.
“We started this journey and we knew we had a job to do and we pulled it off with style. We are just proud of the village, the club and the brothers who played a part in the team’s success.
“We are also grateful of our supporters who have been behind us from the start. Thank you for believing in us.”
Sea Eagles resurgence in the domestic rugby league competition began in the second round of the 2018 season.
The side came back from the dead to make it through to last year’s final but suffered a close loss against the Panthers.
This year, they entered the competition as the underdog and quickly became the favourites after beating the top guns earlier in the opening round.
Sea Eagles also won the minor premiership and entered the playoffs as the firm favourites for the premier title.
In the showdown, they were in a class of their own, putting on a brilliant performance to outclass the Panthers.
The Sea Eagles led 10-2 at the break and despite a desperate effort from the Panthers to get back into the game, the Bobby Hansen-coached side held on to claim the 26-6 win.
Player of the match Ben Wemin, the Papua New Guinea import, was the kingpin for the Sea Eagles as he masterminded their attack. He also scored a try from a superb solo effort.
Fellow PNG players Mel Isaac, who scored a try too, and Stanley Olo were also instrumental for the side. Lanky Fijian Sailosi Nagi proved vital in gaining yards while the Terekia brothers Juwaan, Shaiquan and George brought dynamism to the Sea Eagles play, adding depth to their attack and defence.
The other two Sea Eagles tries came from Allan Toa and Juwaan.
Despite having much possession and opportunities, the Panthers were unable to get the much needed points.
Meanwhile Titikaveka Bulldogs defeated Sea Eagles 48-12 to claim the reserves grade at Nukupure Park on Friday.