The National, Monday August 5th, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
THE Port Moresby Vipers will have their work cut out for them heading into the finals after coming from behind to beat the Mt Hagen Eagles 34-22 at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby yesterday.
The Vipers scenario does not help with an expected loss looming against the Simbu Lions in Kundiawa in the last match before the Digicel Cup rugby league finals this Sunday.
Then with an expected fiery knock-out contest looming with a likely match up with the Snax Tigers on the cards in the semi-finals, Vipers coach Leonard Tarum and assistant Paul Komboi have their work cutout.
A wake up call by Tarum at half time put the blinkers on for the city slickers as they finally started to stamp their authority against a determined Eagles outfit.
The Western Highlanders had the ascendency going to half time with a 16-12 lead.
Vipers and Kumul rake Charlie Wabo (pictured left) was at his scheming best to put a bulldozing Enoch Maki charging over the line to take over the lead in the 50th minute.
Then when centre Gary Lo scored against his former teammates, the Stop N Shop-sponsored were in safer waters with a 24-16 lead.
Wabo showed why he is the best hooker in the competition with another smooth play from dummy half to see former Kumul winger Michael Mark punching through the middle with the try of the match.
The Eastern Highlander (Wabo) also got into the act this time running off five-eighth Peter Paulus to seal the match.
The Eagles made the score a bit more respectable with fullback Joe Joshua flying through with the last try of the match.
The Vipers travel to Kundiawa this Sunday hoping to do better then the Rabaul Guiras, who were towelled 36-16 by the Lions, but a lose will still make no difference to their finals position which is assured.