By MELTON PAIS
GULF Isapea centre Jackins Olam starred in his side’s 24-18 win over the visiting Waghi Tumbe at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby yesterday.
The 24-year-old scored the first try in the 10th minute and was solid in defence and created opportunities with the ball throughout the match to earn the man-of-the-match award. The Crocodiles’ had to overcome an early injury to key forward Bradley Yano, who left the field with a shoulder injury in the second minute of play.
The slack was picked up by captain Bernard Goma, Jack Manda, Francis Aihi and Josiah Keviame, who efforts in the middle third provided the Gulf men the perfect platform to score five tries to the Tumbe’s three.
Apart from Olam, Isapea five-eighth Solomon Pokari directed play and held the sets together with his kicking and play-calling.
The Tumbe led 12-10 at half time with tries to Charlie Kaipel and five-eighth Joe Frank, both converted by hooker Jodda Wesley.
The Isapea’s two tries were through Olam and fullback Tau Muri with Pokari managing only one conversion.
The Tumbe enjoyed a size advantage which helped them compete in the forward exchanges. All their tries were scored in the middle third of the field. The only aspect of their game that let them down was their ball control.
The Isapea suffered another blow early in the second half with captain Goma leaving the field.
The visitors took advantage of the Isapea’s numbers and lock Sipa Korken cut through some shoddy gola line defence to get his side out to an 18-10 lead with Wesley popping over the extras.
The Petroleum Resources Kutubu-sponsored Gulf side finally made use of their pacy backline and winger Jojo Forova grabbed a loose ball on the Tumbe 30-metre line race around to score under the uprights.
Reserve Japheth Olik kicked the extras to trail 18-16.
Isapea winger John Horofe and Goma, who returned to the field, rounded off the scoring with four-pointers. The Isapea could crack the top five with a bye and games against the Lae Tigers (home) and Goroka Lahanis (away) to end the season.
Isapea 24 (J. Olam, T. Muri, J. Forova, J. Horove, B. Goma tries; S. Pokaru, J. Olik con) Tumbe18 (C. Kaipel, J. Frank, S. Korken tries; J. Wesley 3 con).
Results: Rd 13 – Sun, July 10: Mioks 22 Lions 20, Eagles 11 Muruks 4, Wigman 30 Lahanis 18, Tigers 32 Vipers 12
Standings: Tigers 23, Eagles 21, Mioks 19, Gurias 18, Wigman 14, Tumbe 13, Isapea 13, Muruks 12, Vipers 9, Lions 8, Lahanis 6.
By MELTON PAIS