By BENJAMIN KOITAKA
THE Petroleum Resources Kutubu Gulf Isou held off premiers Bintangor Goroka Lahanis 12-10 in their Round 2 Digicel Cup at the National Football Stadium yesterday.
The Isou backed up their 34-16 win over 2018 minor premiers Enga Mioks last week and are in third spot on the ladder.
The Lahanis, who were coming off a first round 8-6 loss to the returning Hagen Eagles, were desperate to claim their first win of the season and with SP PNG Hunters squad member Nick Hasu at five-eighth and inspirational prop Gonzella Urakusie at the helm, the Appos started well with a Hasu short ball seeing winger Alma Woro cross the line for a try for a 4-0 lead in the 10th minute.
The Isou stayed in the contest with their defence as they kept the visitors at bay with play progressing to the 35th minute when No.6 Yunny Patrick kicked a penalty goal for the hosts to trail 4-2.
The Gulf men capped off the first 40 minutes with a try to Josh Ericho for a 6-4 lead at halftime.
Isou halfback Jason Maima scored a four-pointer in the 56th minute to extend his side’s lead to 12-4.
Lahanis No.7 Joseph Karara crossed for a try which was converted by Hasu and brought the scores to 12-10 in the 64th minute.
The Isou managed to hold on to their narrow lead over the remaining 15 minutes to earn their second win of the 2019 season.
Isou coach Norris Selu said their wins had not come easy as they had been drawn to play last year’s grand finalists over the first two rounds of the competition.
“Beating Mioks last week and then backing it up with a win over the Lahanis today was a bonus for us,” Selu said.
“The Lahanis gave us a good challenge and my side did well to win and are getting better and leqarning from each game.”
Lahanis coach Umba Peter said his team would learn from their mistakes and be better preparted the next time.
He commended the hosts for their resolve and ability to defend especially in the last quarter.
Results: Rd 2 – Sun, April 14: Gulf Isou 12 Goroka Lahanis 10, Kimbe Cutters 2 Lae Tigers 36, Agmark Gurias 32 Hela Wigmen 8, Mendi Muruks 2 Enga Mioks 0, Central Dabaris 24 Hagen Eagles 26, Waghi Tumbe 20 Port Moresby Vipers 17.
Standings: 1. Tigers 4 (+38), 2. Gurias 4 (+30), 3. Isou 4 (+20), 4. Tumbe 4 (+5), 5. Eagles 4 (+4), 6. Dabaris 2 (+12), 7. Muruks 2 (0), 8. Lahanis 0 (-4), 9. Wigmen 0 (-18), 10. Vipers 0 (-19), 11. Mioks 0 (-20), 12. Cutters 0 (-48).
By BENJAMIN KOITAKA