By LARRY ANDREW
THREE successful conversions by halfback Roger Laka helped the Enga Mioks score a valuable 18-14 win over the Mendi Muruks in their midweek Digicel Cup match yesterday in Lae.
Both teams scored three tries apiece but it was Laka’s boot that made the difference.
The Southern Highlanders were first to score in the second half through Kennedy Ben to take the lead for the first time 8-6 after trailing Mioks 6-4 in the first half.
But the lead was short lived as Mioks fullback Junior Bobby crossed for the first of his two tries.
Laka converted for a 12-8 lead.
Both packs had no problem making metres on soft Lae Rugby League Ground surface.
Muruks scored through Ben – his second – for the Mendi side to edge out to a 14-12 lead.
The Mioks played for terriroty and worked their way into the Muruks half and began applying the pressure.
Bobby broke through for his second which turned out to be the match-winner as Laka converted to push the lead out to four points.
The Muruks had an opportunity to level the score with a few left but fullback Wesley Vali’s break came to nought.
Vali, a former PNG sevens representative, showed some great footwork to beat several defenders before offloading to centre Julius Yakopa who dropped the ball.
Mioks coach Timothy Lepa said his side were told to be patient and keep their nerve and they managed to do that to score the win over their neighbours.
Mioks 18 (Maya Komba, Junior Bobby 2 tries; Roger Laka 3 con) Muruks 14 (Ken Andrew, Kennedy Ben 2 tries) H/T: 6-4 (Mioks).
By LARRY ANDREW