By PARKER TAMBUA
RABAUL Gurias sneaked into the Digicel Cup finals with 26-4 home win over Enga Mioks at the Kalabond Oval in Kokopo, East New Britain, on Saturday.
The sixth-placed Mioks only had to win to confirm their spot in the top-six playoffs but the visitors failed to do so, allowing the Gurias to keep their title hopes alive with the last playoffs berth.
Meanwhile, Waghi Tumbe will head into the finals with momentum after they registered their eighth-straight victory with an 18-14 win over Hela Wigmen in Port Moresby yesterday.
Tumbe put on an outstanding defence display to lead 14-0 at halftime in round 11 of the Digicel Cup at the Oil Search National Football Stadium.
But the Wigmen managed to put up a fight in the second half, scoring three tries but Tumbe hung on for the win.
Tumbe coach Baundo Aba said he was thrilled about his men continuing their winning streak.
“It was an important win for us and we will take that confidence going into the finals,” the former SP Hunters forward said.
“We started well in the first half which laid the platform for the win.
“We struggled a bit in the second half and the Wigmen built some pressure, but credit to our players for hanging in there through our defence.”
The Jiwaka government-sponsored side scored early in the game through fullback Jessy Mathew and five-eighth David Joseph’s conversion made it 6-0.
A few minutes later, Joseph kicked a penalty goal which extended the lead to 8-0.
Charlie Wabo-coached reigning premiers Wigmen spent the majority of the first half in Tumbe’s territory with repeated sets but poor execution prevented them from scoring points.
Tumbe scored another try on the stroke of halftime through centre Valentine Wamdi, courtesy of a set move by halves Francis Sam and Joseph. Joseph’s conversion made it 14-0 at the break.
The Wigmen’s second half tries were scored by captain Valentine Culligan and winger Ian James, who scored a double.
Poor conversion attempts by Wigmen hooker Philemon Taim cost them the game. Taim only converted one try.
Results: Sat, Aug 14 — Gurias 26 Mioks 4, Eagles 26 Dabaris 12; Sun, Aug 15 — Tigers 22 Cutters 18, Tumbe 18 Wigmen 14, Lahanis 22 Isou 16, Vipers 6 Muruks 0.
By PARKER TAMBUA