Mioks come out on top in scrappy win over Isapeas

Normal, Sports

The National – Monday, June 20, 2011

THE flair, intensity and standard of this year’s Digicel Cup is struggling to produce quality football matches as witnessed at the Lloyd Robson oval yesterday in the round seven clash between Toyota Enga Mioks and prima Smallgoods Gulf Isapeas.
With last-placed Isapeas taking on second-placed Mioks the action was expected to be one way however the match failed to reach any heights with a glut of handling errors and sloppy ballwork from both sides (albeit in damp conditions) denying the crowd their money’s worth.
Mioks clinched the match 14-10 simply by grabbing their chances and keeping it simple in the middle of the ruck.
Isapeas again could not put an 80 minute performance together.
Although Isapeas had their opportunities the gulf in class was evident with the debutant franchise unable to make full use of their share of possession and territory, constantly squandering position.
Enga provincial administrator Samson Amean was clearly not impressed with Miok’s performance.
“Mioks are a colourful team and I am not impressed with their performance today because they did not play with any polish.
“Anyway, a win is a win and we’ll take the two competition points,” Amean said.
The Gulf team were the first to score a converted try in the 10th minute through prop Moore Evara for a 6-0 lead.
Mioks replied in the 19th minute from a solo effort by hooker Leon Cletus who jinked past several defenders before stepping past fullback Collin Aruna to score next to the uprights.
Former Goroka Lahanis centre Kevin Inagafa converted to lock the scores at 6-6 at the break.
Mioks hit the lead in the second half (56th minutes) through reserve Stanley Lingham who ran a good line to score and make it10-6.
Inagafa’s goalkicking was sub-standard from that point on missing two relatively simple shots, the conversion of Lingam’s try and a penalty a few metres off centre.
The game was a back-and-forth struggle until rookie halfback Junior Lawrence capitalised on an 80m intercept run by centre Pasu Awani.
Inagafa again failed the conversion for a 14-6 scoreline.
Isapeas managed to retain possession in Mioks half for winger Pipi Kilori to be on the end of a chain passing effort which saw him score an unconverted try in the 71st minute.
Isapeas are admittedly still a work in progress but it is hard to see them winning a match all season after yesterday’s inept display.
They host SBS Mendi Muruks next Saturday at PRL.
Mioks blooded several players who had reasonable debuts in Lawrence and backrower Danny Patrick while bench forward Robert Gabriel injected energy and intent while Lingam ran good attacking lines.