The National, Monday July 29th, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
AN out of sorts Port Moresby Vipers only just managed to beat the Gulf Isapea 30-18 to maintain their fourth placing in the Digicel Cup rugby league local derby at the Lloyd Robson Oval yesterday.
The Vipers led 18-10 at half time, and looked to cruise in the last 40 minutes, but were rudely woken up by the Kerema franchise fighting back to level the scores in opening 15 minutes.
Isapea, desperate to get points on the board, landed an early penalty to winger Jason Koivi and then prop Moore Evara twisted and turned his way around several defenders to score a converted try to give them a fighting chance.
The Vipers from there tried to lift but were plagued by uncharacteristic handling errors from their Kumul squad members in Richard Kambo, Charlie Wabo and Sebastian Pandia.
The crocodiles tried to make headway with strong runs from winger Pipi Kilori, dummy half Lawrence Tu’u and inter-change players Stanley Korowa and Joe Turia targeting the Vipers right side defence.
All that effort went to nothing to give the Vipers a reprieve and the opportunity to hit back.
Their first attempt went begging with a Jolam Jerry effort being denied and despite the frustration building up it came down to Vipers most improved forward this season in Adam Korave to break the deadlock.
That was the second try from the man from Sogeri who has been knocking on door for a selection call-up for some time now.
Then inter-change forward Dick Nap sealed the match with a surging run from 15m out leaving a trail of defenders in his wake to score.
Port Moresby Vipers 30 (A Korave 2, P Paulus, G Lo, M Mark, D Nap tries; I Eliab 3 con) Gulf Isapea 18 (P Kilori, K Kauna Jr, M Evara tries; J Koivi 2 con, 1 pen).