Vipers set for Muruks

Hosts counting on Boas, Wigmen wary of Mioks

THE Port Moresby Vipers will be counting on veteran Ase Boas, pictured and home advantage against the Mendi Muruks in the Digicel Cup elimination finals on Sunday (3.30pm kick-off).
The earlier sudden-death match will see last year’s runners-up Hela Wigmen host the Enga Mioks at Sir John Guise Stadium (1pm) as they look to go one better this season.
The Vipers, boasting the Digicel Cup’s best defence, and Muruks are aiming to snap a title drought with both sides last winning the country’s premier rugby league competition in 2013 and 2008 respectively.
In the Vipers’ arsenal are Papua New Guinea internationals Stargroth Amean and Enoch Maki, 107-game Intrust Super Cup veteran Boas, and fellow SP Hunters Keven Appo, Brendon Gotuno and Shane Nigel.
Also at the 2013 champions’ disposal are former Kumul Thompson Teteh and rake Presley Soto who set up Appo for the Vipers’ winning try in their 7-0 triumph over reigning premiers Lae Tigers on Sunday.
“This year has been good so far because we’ve been strong defensively,” Vipers coach Leonard Tarum told The National earlier this week.
“Our ball control has also been great.
“Boas’ leadership has been a big difference to our side this season.
“He is directing play, we’re completing our sets and our defence has been solid.
“Sunday’s game against Muruks will be no different.
“We’d like to continue the momentum after a great performance against the Tigers.”
But despite having just two experienced campaigners in PNG internationals Stanton Albert and Junior Rau, the visitors — who finished fifth in the regular season — will be looking to spoil the Vipers’ party.
The Muruks’ backline has been unpredictable all season with Rau, Leon Undupia, Joe Honk and fullback Dickson Pipi combining to score most of their tries on the edges.
It is no wonder why Mendi are the third-best attacking side in the competition so the Vipers will need to again be at their defensive best if they are to come up with a positive result. Fixtures: Sun, Sept 27 — Hela Wigmen v Enga Mioks, Port Moresby Vipers v Mendi Muruks.


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