By JACK AMI
Little known Miro Koivi surprised established side Bogi Dogs 20-12 in round one of 14th Southern Region League Nines tournament at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby yesterday.
The Miro Koivi team comprising under-20 players from the West and Koki Eels rugby league clubs started off their campaign on the right footing in pool A.
The youngsters’ passion gave them too much pace for their older opponents and they crossed the line four times while the Dogs replied with only three tries.
Seventeen-year-old Koki student Solomon Kinibo played pivotal role for the Koivi’s win by setting and linking up with his runners.
This saw him setting up the first of two tries by Joshua Willie in the first half. Willie converted his own tries to put them12-8 ahead.
Dogs scored two unconverted tries through Danny Doko and Dikana Paul to trail by four points at the break.
The Miro Koivi side is coached by former Kumuls Tuksy Karu and Joshua Kouoru.
They are looking good in the campaign so far and have a good chance of making the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Team manager Raymond Aru said the side was a development team to get the youngsters ready for the city competition next year.
Meanwhile, New comers Hogeta Seagulls were handed 4-14 by Papa B2 Cowboys.
Former champions Rovanama started their campaign by smashing Poreporena Bulldogs 28-4.
Baukana edged new look Gulf Ifarea 8- 4.
In the other matches in pool B North Dingos Black drew with Team Marshal 16-16 and North East Orenas beat Vanagi Blacks 12-8.
In pool C Lagoon Pirates defeated Marlins 8-6 and Rovanama Green belted South Side Warriors 24-0.
Round two will continue today at 8am.
Meanwhile, Southern Region League Nines founder Ivan Ravu is disappointed with several teams for fielding players who are not of Papuan region.
Ravu said in the 14th year of the tournament these teams were still breaching this rule.
“I appeal to these teams to remove these players or face the consequences,” he said.
“This event is only meant for the Papuans and that’s it.
“I strongly appeal to the non-Papuans to respect and understand that this event is for the region’s potential talents.”
By JACK AMI