The National, Wednesday 25th July, 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
EDA RANU Dobo Warriors five-eighth Nick Ono sealed his side’s place at the top of the Port Moresby Rugby League ladder with a crucial four-pointer in last Friday night’s round 21 opening 18-8 win over the Paga Panthers.The playmaker gambled all afternoon in a thrilling match with the little space he was allowed and was finally rewarded. Schoolboy and rising star Blend Abavu, who is the younger brother Port Moresby Vipers and Kumul fullback Joshiah, potted a penalty goal and scored an intercept try in the first five minutes of the match, and second row Lukson Wilson went over again for the competition leaders on the 15-minute mark.The 12-point lead was narrowed just before the break via a try to Panthers wing Karo Kauna Jr.A much more enthusiastic Panthers side returned in the second half with greater direction and purpose but that could not be converted into points.
Quick hands 15 minutes in, eventually landed right wing Mark Rakatani over in the corner to bring the scores to 12-8 and turned the heat up for the final 20 minutes.
The Warriors’ defence stood without crumbling against numerous Panthers raids for a crucial 10 minutes before Ono weaved through a tiring line from 30m out for his try.
Warriors coach Paul Noe, although welcoming of the victory said there were areas that still needed to be tidied up for the run to the finals next month.
“We won because of our defence. We almost gave the game away with handling errors, and that’s something we are going to work very hard on this week,” Noe said.
“Five games to go and we can’t afford that many errors.”
The results of the other matches, West 42 Maiari Eagles 4, Taragau 24 Pumas 18, Kone Tigers 14 Defence 8, Butterflies 8 Kone Storms 6, Brothers 16 Hohola Dragons 12, Hawks 8 Souths 6, Royals 18 Magani 17.