of a capacity crowd at Lae Rugby League ground.
There was a minute’s silence
before the kick off to acknowledge the tragic death of former Kumul
and lae resident Peter Barnanga, who was found death in his car parked at a nigh
club over the weekend.
The first 20 minutes of the game were scoreless as
both sides could not gain enough momentum to pressure their opposition try line.
The Mioks, well-known for being relentless scored the first try of the game
through centre and Jaka Investment man of the match recipient Charles Martin
putting a grubber for winger Richard Reto to touch down for an unconverted
Vipers returned the football down to Mioks territory when dynamic hooker
Presley Soto made a clean break on the left edge side beating several Mioks
players before placing a kick for fullback Josiah Abavu but the ball beat the
Kumul and went dead.
Mioks responded through their forwards with Steven
Talin, Joe Kingal, Randy Joseph, Miniga Kit and Rex Yallon forging a path into
Referee Paul Wani penalised the Vipers for a dangerous
tackle which saw captain Charlie Simson kick the penalty for a 6-0 lead.
resumption of play in the second half was a different tale as the city boys led
by captain Richard Kambo, prop Enoch Maki, Stanley Torato and Elizah Riyong used
their weight to gain yards and get them into good positions on the field.
Israel Steven scored a converted try to level the scores.
driven by their hordeof fans shifted to another gear in the crucial stages of
the match – the final quarter – with Martin scoring in the corner.
was converted which was converted but the lead was cut down to two in the
dying stages when Bland Abavu scored an unconverted try to trail 10-12.
12 (R Reto, C Martin tries; C Simson con, pen) Vipers 10 (I Steven, B Abavu
tries; S.Tarato con) HT: 6-0 (Mioks) at the Lae Rugby League Ground.