The National, Monday, May 16, 2011
By ZACHERY PER
THE Bintangor Goroka Lahanis are outright leaders in the Digicel Cup after overpowering SBS Mendi Muruks 38-20 in Goroka yesterday.
The defending intercity premiers outplayed Muruks thanks to a sterling performance from centre Thompson Teteh who claimed a hat-trick of tries.
Muruks managed four tries but never challenged the Lahanis who led through out.
Fullback Adex Wera opened the scoring in the 15th minute feeding off a pass from backrower Micah Soboni who broke the line.
Muruks winger Elijah Anton replied after a mistake gifted him an easy four-pointer to trail 6-4.
Teteh struck next for the homeside to extend their lead 12-4 but Muruks through halfback Kewa Kili set up another scoring play off a kick which saw Wera fumble a catch and his opposite Roderick Puname score.
Lahanis went to the break 12-10 in front.
In the seond half, Teteh put his side in a commanding position with two tries in the first 10 minutes to widen the margin to 12 points at 22-10.
Muruks through skipper Joseph Omae and fowards Jackson Undi and hooker Charlie Wabo pressed the Lahanis defence for an opening and found one when Undi burrowed through for a try to close the gap to 22-16.
Goroka winger Minaho Goso scored next from a cut-out pass from captain and Kumul Glen Nami and this was followed by tries to Casey Frank and centre Chris Hogi before boom forward Gonzella Urakusie closed the day with a typical barging effort before time.
Earlier Muruks debutant Kemi Yolu touched down before Lahanis former Pukupuk Hogi to keep his side within striking distance but it was to no avail as the Lahanis finished powerfully to chalk up another convincing win at home.
In other matches, Toyota Enga Mioks embarrassed Snax Lae Tigers 30-14 in Lae.
The win was described as a “smashing” performance by Mioks coach Timothy Lepa who warned that his side would only get better after a controversial 19-16 loss to Mt Wantok Gaming Systems Hagen Eagles in the first round.
“After our 11-man debacle last round, I’m happy to say we went out there and stuck to our game plan, showed a lot of discipline and blew Tigers off the park in the second half,” a satisfied Lepa said.
In Kokopo, the Agmark Rabaul Gurias won at home beating Stop N Shop Port Moresby Vipers 30-14 at Kalabond oval.
The morale-boosting win was set up by a coordinated team effort with telling tries to speedster Bobby Pau and forward Orbert Hondole.
In Port Moresby, the Gulf Isapeas drew 8-8 with Simbu Warriors after leading for most of the match.
The improved performance will have them in good stead when they play Gurias in Kokopo next Sunday.
For the Warriors it was a flat performance after holding off the Hela Wigmen to a 4-4 draw in Kundiawa the previous Sunday.
Amazingly though, after the weekend’s results the Warriors are on fourth spot thanks to their points differential not being in the negative.
Meanwhile, the Wigmen exposed the Mt Hagen Eagles yesterday at Lloyd Robson Oval winning 28-4.
Wigmen’s class came to the fore with all their Kumuls stepping up to hand the Hagen franchise a 24-point hiding in front of a packed LRO.