Marum’s young Gurias have the answers

Normal, Sports

The National, Monday, May 23, 2011

MICHAEL Marum’s underrated NGIP Agmark Rabaul Gurias answered the critics yesterday with a rousing 28-16 win over debutants Gulf Isapeas in Kokopo in round three of the Digicel Cup.
The NGI side which has fielded a vastly different squad this year proved that last week’s victory over the SNS Port Moresby Vipers was no fluke.
However, the signs were not promising for the home side with a litany of errors giving cheap possession to the Gulf team in the first quarter.
Isapeas centre Barry Pakaiya got his team on the board with a try in the 15th minute for a 4-0 lead.
Gurias settled into a pattern and in the 30th minute five-eighth Israel Eliab sent centre Chris Jerry over for the reply.
Eliab failed to convert the try and score was 4- 4.
Gurias coach Marum was clearly not impressed with the numerous handling errors and kept his interchange bench working over time with fresh players coming on.
In the 35th minute, Gurias halfback Walter Puara Jr put Wesley Totori in the clear to sprint untouched to the line for a converted try for a 10- 4 lead at the break.
In the second half, Isapeas’ John Guri scored a soft try from close range catching the defence napping.
Jason Koivi successfully converted to tie the score at 10-10.
A penalty awarded to Gurias for a high tackle saw the lead handed back 12-10.
But that two-point buffer did not last long as the Isapeas capitalised on a Gurias dropped ball and exploited an overlap for winger Pipi Kilori to score in the left corner to snatch back the lead 16-12.
Gurias hit back almost immediately with Eliab slicing through before handing off to Jerry who gave winger Bobby Pau a saloon passage down the right flank for an 18-16 lead.
Man-of-the-match Pau grabbed his second minutes later in similar fashion to extend the lead to 22-16.
The Pau try was important as it broke Isapeas will as they struggled to regain any momentum thereafter.
Minutes before the final siren, Pau set up  David Missiel to score the last try of the day which was converted for a comfortable 28- 16 win.
Isapeas assistant coach, Stanley Haru admitted his team did not concentrate on the game plan for the full 80 minutes but credited the unrelenting Gurias.
He said Ispaeas failed to complete a number of sets mainly through handling errors.
Gurias’ Kot Kerowa said the boys committed their share of mistakes but after some choice halftime words from Marum they got their act together to finish off strongly.
Gurias are expected to host Mt Hagen Eagles next Sunday at Kalabondfield following latest reports that Eagles homeground is not be yet ready to host Digicel Cup matches.