Tarum praises defence


COACH Leonard Tarum has praised his Port Moresby Vipers’ defence for keeping Digicel Cup reigning champions and former ladder leaders Lae Tigers scoreless for the first time this season.
He told The National yesterday that their 7-0 round-11 triumph came off the back of their season-long focus on defence which has seen them finish the regular season as the best side in that area.
Minor premiers Rabaul Gurias, who have the best attack in the 12-team Digicel Cup, and the Tigers round out the top-three defensive sides in the country’s premier rugby league competition this year.
“Defence wins games and that is what we’ve been focusing on since round one,” Tarum said.
“All our wins came off the back of a strong defensive effort.
“I am proud of my players.
“Our only disappointment was against Gulf Isou in round nine.
“We conceded a lot of points in our 30-22 win.
“But I thought we improved against the Kimbe Cutters (in round 10) and Tigers.
“Sunday’s win over the Tigers was one of our best wins in recent seasons.”
Tarum admitted that the Vipers had not focused too much on attack, with his men ranked seventh in attack. “To be honest, there wasn’t much from us in attack over the past 11 weeks,” the Vipers coach said.
“But it didn’t really bother us because our focus was on ball control.
“If we can put up a solid defence and limit our handling errors then positive results will come.
“I am pleased with how we’ve been completing our sets and that’s important in close contests.”
The Vipers’ completion rate against the Tigers was at 73 per cent.

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