Gurias weather Muruks onslaught

Normal, Sports

The National, Tuesday, June 7th 2011

AGMARK Rabaul Gurias turned the tables on the SBS Mendi Muruks in Kokopo on Sunday grinding out a 16-10 win.
But they took a pounding on defence in the first half with a rugged Muruks pack giving the Radaz boys plenty of tackling practice.
Muruks mainstay Joseph Omae and Wer Mark put their side on the front foot in the opening quarter consistently getting over the ad line to help set up centre Matthew Puke’s try for a 6-0 lead.
Gurias’ backrower Orbert Hondole took up the slack bending the Muruks defence with several probing runs.
The young Gurias would not be denied after a disallowed try to forward Kazu Ben with centre Chris Jerry posting a four pointer for the home side.
Although Gurias five-eighth Israel Eliab missed the conversion for a 6-4 scoreline, fullback Albert Patak and Hondole were inspirational causing havoc for the Muruks’ defence.
Hondole’s efforts were rewarded when the Hela native scored a converted try for the Gurias to take a 10-6 into the break.
Muruks backrowers Nobert Kembo and Malachi Owen with left side wing-centre pairing of Elijah Anton and Puke creating attacking phases for the former three-time intercity champions in the second half.
But Gurias held the upper hand with their faster backs in Bobby Pau and Jacky Marcus combining for Marcus to score a try early in the second period for a 16-6 lead.
Most of the second 40 was an armwrestle but Kembo came close to scoring in the 72nd minute.
That did not deter the Southern Highlanders out of Lae who maintained the pressure for Elijah to eventually crash over for a try.
Muruks halfback Ate Bina Wabo missed the conversion but it was of little consequence as the Gurias had time on their side.
Both sides play tough away matches next Sunday with Muruks playing Mioks and the Gurias taking on Warriors in round six fixtures.