THE Port Moresby Vipers got back into the winners’ circle with a 38-8 thrashing of the Gulf Isou in their Digicel Cup round six Mothers’ Day game in Port Moresby yesterday.
Rookie winger Shane Haro, playing his third match, bagged three tries in a memorable performance at the National Football Stadium which earned man-of-the-match award.
“It was Mothers’ Day and we dedicated the game to our mothers,” Vipers manager Ron Titie said.
“The 30-point margin was special day for us.”
Vipers fan National Planning and Housing Minister John Kaupa, Vipers board chairman Ted Lulu and his deputy Tony Sipa all congratulated the side for their performance.
Haro was called into the squad after centre Thompson Teteh was named in the SP Hunters team for the weekend’s Q-Cup match against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Brisbane.
The Gulf man capitalised on some good work by his inside men and used his speed to out-flank several lazy Isou defenders on three occasions in the second half.
The National Capital District Commission-backed Vipers took that 12-0 to the break and then added another 26 points in the second 40 minutes, blowing a disorganised PRK-sponsored Gulf side off the park.
The Vipers forwards led by former Kumul Larsen Marabe and Kerry Pep put them on the front foot and gave halves Benton Leme and former Hunter Atte Bina Wabo as well as fullback Brendon Gotuno time and space.
Vipers opened the scoring with Sparo Thomas in the 19th minute from backline move which saw him get past Tope Mitaharo to cross over for a 6-0 lead.
Captain Nicko Dom crashed over eight minutes later and Leme slotted the conversion for a 12-0 lead.
The Gulf Isou managed to hit back with tries in the second half to Robert Mase and Josiah Koivi to cut the deficit to 12-8. That was as close as the Isou got as their game fell apart afterward as the Vipers lifted in intensity and started to play with more purpose.
Gulf coach Colin Geno would have been frustrated with his side’s lack of composure and execution as they were their own worst enemies particularly with their ball handling that affected their set completions and option taking.
The Vipers made hay while the sun shined with Haro finding a saloon passage on three occasions while Gotuno and Leme also scoring tries. Leme finished with 14 points from five conversions and a try.
Vipers coach Joe Sipa said his side had recovered mentally after their disappointing 26-4 loss to the Agmark Gurias in round five and had worked on playing better football.
“We just did what we had to do and capitalised on their mistakes,” Sipa said.
Isou coach Geno said his side were struggling to win but he was at a loss to figure out why they were doing poorly in games. “We trained hard and tried really hard and did everything we were supposed to before the match but I don’t understand the players,” Geno said.
“We cannot continue to do this if we want to do well in this competition.” Round 6 Results: Sun, May 13 – Lae Snax Tigers 18 PRK Mendi Muruks 10, Giru Waghi Tumbe 28 Chimbu Warriors 10, Agmark Gurias 28 Bintangor Goroka Lahanis 18, NCDC Port Moresby Vipers 38 PRK Gulf Isou 8, Enga Mioks 18 Kroton Hela Wigmen 14. The National
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