TELIKOM Access felt the pinch of missing their star players when they went down to Hardware Hammerheads 20-16 in the Agmark Rugby League Nines round five and six matches in Kokopo, East New Britain last weekend.
Telikom Access playmakers Jessie Alunga, Liprin Palangat and Jeffery Venevel were all out due to injuries and could not take the field, allowing their young guns up the ranks.
Their omission was fitting for their opponents, Hammerheads, led by Agmark Gurias captain George Moni, who was ably assisted by new Gurias recruit Scot Tepra and PNG Kundus Alois Waileng raiding the Telikom defence to create havoc.
Despite, the efforts by former PNG Pukpuks Ian Leklek, playing his heart out for the Telikom Access, but he was under the watchful eyes of Moni and his troops in the entire match.
Hammerhead’s victory at the weekend sees them sharing the lead with Pavek Butterflies on 12 points apiece after the weekend’s matches.
Pavek NBC Warriors and SOR Warriors following in the third and fourth place respectively on percentage difference 10 each while Ratrab Saints and Takubar Real Estate Brothers make up the top six on nine points each.
Twenty teams are participating in the competition that had been running for three weekends with the cream of New Guinea islands rugby league talents on display and the ever-increasing imports from other centres spicing up the competition.
The competition is aimed at preparing players to represent the Agmark Rabaul Gurias for the bemobile Cup challenge this season.