Tigers are 2017 Digicel Cup champions!

Charlie Simon - Cometh the hour, cometh the man. It went to golden point, the biggest moment in his career - and he stood up.

The classy Lae Snax Tigers' halfback slotted through a 91st minute golden point field goal to beat the Agmark Rabaul Gurias 11-10 in this afternoon’s grand final at the Sir John Guise Stadium.

It was thrilling, unbelievable, heartbreaking and historic, which kept the crowd of thousands cheering all afternoon.

There was some scrappy football from both sides in the opening exchanges with the match being played up the middle of the field.

It was the Gurias who found their feet first.

After consecutive sets, the Gurias found the try line when centre John Ragi danced around the defence to slice through and score out wide in the 15th minute.

A knock on from the restart proved costly for the Gurias. The Tigers pounced on the opportunity and levelled the score through Billy Paul on the wing.

Noel Joel’s successful conversion right from the sideline put the Tigers in front.

Ball security was a problem for the Gurias. Despite dominating possession in the back end of the first half, numerous visits to their opponent’s only proved fruitless.

This gave the Lae boys a 6-4 advantage going into the sheds at half time.

The second half began in identical fashion to the end of the first with the Gurias continuing to squander opportunities to regain the lead.

Weathering the storm, Simon led his side out of danger territory and the Tigers’ lead was soon extended to 10-4 after Enoch Sine proved hard to stop from close range.

Now trailing by a converted try, it all looked bleak with the Gurias becoming their own worst enemy.

The tide had now turned with Stanley Tepend’s men on top.

But this was short-lived when a cut out pass from Brian Gispe to Jason Missian put him through a gap to race away and score under the posts 13 minutes out from the final whistle.

The five-eighth took his time with the kick and booted it through to bring the score level at 10-10, which was the full time score.

Going into extra time, field goal attempts from both sides fell short, forcing the match into golden point.

It was all over before it started.

Catching the ball from the kick off, Gispe was pulled over to the sideline.

After several plays, Simon moved into position and floated the ball through the posts from the 30 metre line to win the Tigers’ back-to-back titles.

With no surprise - Simon was awarded the man of the match.

This was the first Digicel Cup grand final that was decided in extra time.

Troy Taule