The National, Friday July 19th, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
FIREWORKS will erupt with the Digicel Cup going into overdrive with a bumper double header for Round 15 of the semi-professional rugby league competition in Port Moresby at the Lloyd Robson Oval on Sunday.
At 1pm, PRK/Prima Gulf Isapea get a reprieve from their travelling away losing streak when they meet a struggling for form Enga Mioks to wet the fans’ appetite.
Then in the main game, in-form teams Stop N Shop Port Moresby Vipers lock horns with the Bintangor Goroka Lahanis to for an actioned filled afternoon.
For Isapea, coach Nigel Hukula will welcome the return to familiar territory as he attempts the last throw of the dice for the Gulf franchise.
With the Mioks coming off a loss as well, the Enga Provincial Government-sponsored team cannot afford to go down to Isapea, with the fast-finishing Hela Wigmen breathing down their necks for a top five spot.
That match will serve as great appertiser for the clash of the round with some of the competition big men facing off in a brutal challenge.
Stand-in Lahanis coach Michael Moses is certain to look at his engine room led by veteran Nicko Ubile, Wesley Mohokule, Gonzela Urakusie, George Abba and Bernard Tatsim Jnr to overpower the Vipers front-line defence.
The match-up with Vipers led by fiery skipper Larson Marabe, Steven Johns, Sebastian Pandia, Adam Korave, Enoch Maki and Samuel Koim will set the stage for an explosive encounter.
The match-up around the play the ball area will make the difference, especially with the current form of Charlie Wabo making the job easy in the options from dummy half.
Lahanis’ No.9 Aimon Ian will be put on notice by the veteran Kumul rake.
In the backs, Vipers’ pivot Peter Paulus only needs to get his combination with incumbent Kumul halfback Israel Eliab who has been producing the goods and will prove dangerous if given room.
The Lahanis are noted strong finishers and if they take control of the match, it will allow for talented fullback Adex Wera, pacey wingers Felix Tatsim and Spiro Mikaive and the left and right centre combination of Kevin Inagafa and Noel Zemin to punch those holes that has seen them dominate matches so far this season.
In the other matches, the Agmark Rabaul Gurias are expected to easily handle the Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles at Kalabond Oval in Kokopo while the Snax Lae Tigers are favoured to beat the PRK Mendi Muruks at the Southern Highlander’s home, the Joe Keviame Oval.