CIVPAC NCDC Vipers’ chances of making this year’s bemobile Cup final series were bombed to oblivion by PNGACTL Bombers in round 12 of the semi-professional competition yesterday at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby.
The Vipers went down to their northern opponents 10-4 in a tight game.
Elsewhere, NGIP Agmark Guria crushed Bintangor Eagles 36-2 at the Kalabond “graveyard” in Kokopo, Toyota Mioks made life harder for reigning premiers SBS Muruks 18-7, and Bintangor Lahanis shocked red-hot Masta Mak Rangers 19-16 in Goroka.
The Vipers have themselves to blame for giving the game away on a platter with unforced errors the order of the day.
They had a case of butter fingers right from the outset and bombed a lot of opportunities.
A disappointed Vipers captain Jonathan Wagano lamented that it just was not their day.
“This was our last home game and victory would have been sweet,” he said.
He attributed the loss to the lack of teamwork.
“My boys didn’t play as a team, in line with (coach) Chris Enara’s game plan,” Wagano said.
The defeat sees the finals chances for the Vipers slipping away and it looks like they can kiss their hopes goodbye.
However, they can make amends in their last two away games to the Lahanis in Goroka and the Mioks in Wabag respectively.
The Vipers were first to cross the tryline for an unconverted try to as reserve backliner Brendon Lulubo in the 28th minute.
The visitors responded after man of the match halfback Peter Peyala set up winger Samson Ninee to fly in over the tryline in the 33rd minute to level the scores until the break.
The second stanza went down the wire but luck went the visitors’ way in the 78th minute, when a well structured backline set move orchestrated by Peyela and five-eighth Mark Mexico send outside centre Bal Kaupa to score under the uprights. Mexico collected the extras to kill any hopes of victory by the hosts.
Bombers captain Russ Kaupa Jr admitted that victory was sweet.
“Our coach Lukas Daniel direct us to minimise our error rates and complete our sets of sixes during the half-time break and I guess the pep talk sunk in,” he said.
“Our victories to date will be our guiding light for next season as my boys will be much more mature in their attitude towards the competition,” Kaupa Jr said.
Bombers 10: S Ninee, B Kaupa tries, M Mexico goal beat Vipers 4: B Lulubo try.
The points table, with two rounds remaining, stands as Guria 20, Rangers 16, Mioks 15, Lahanis 15, Muruks nine, Vipers, Bombers and Eagles all on seven apiece.