The National, Friday 13th July, 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
MENDI Muruks “boom” five-eighth Kewa Kili is set to run free this Sunday at the Port Moresby Rugby League grounds against the Port Moresby Vipers in week 14 of the Digicel Cup.
The 21-year-old’s influential display against the Gulf Isapeas two weeks ago and again last week against the Lions has quickly helped build the Muruks’ bid surge to the finals.
“He is that sort of player. When he can put on something special, he brings the team up,” coach Joe Virani said of the rising star.
Kili said: “I started playing in the intercity in 2009, but I am a bit more confident this season.”
In a year that has seen some of the most inconsistent Muruks performances, Kili’s form comes at the right time with three games to go after next week’s bye.
The pride of Southern Highlands returns to Port Moresby after two weeks, with all their top guns on song and ready to bite the Vipers.
Veteran Joseph Omae missed their last trip to the city but will be on the plane, along with Mathew Puke, Ronnie Tenza and Garnet Auwo.
Stylish dummy Charlie Wabo will return to his usual role after turning out the last time in Port Moresby in the unfamiliar centre position.
Hosts Vipers return home with mixed away results, a win over the TNA Lions in Kundiawa, Chimbu, two weeks ago and then a 37-24 loss to the Enga Mioks last weekend in Wabag.
Shane Morris has kept his side under wraps before matches but this weekend might yet see the very best possible line-up turn out for the city side.
Barring injuries, a possible strong line-up will include the hard “yard-eaters” in Dick Nap, co-captain Steven Johns and Toua Kohu at number nine.
Bench impact duo Enoch Maki and Sebastian Pandia will play a key role in the hard contact periods to help hardworking back-rower Larsen Marabe.
The return of Stargroth Amean will greatly raise the potential for points and much needed cover for fullback Josh Abaivu, who has not been at his best so far.
It has been about discipline for the Vipers all season and making sure that individual contributions count for the team is what will matter this Sunday.
Both sides are on 18 points, with the Vipers ahead only by percentage.