The National – Monday, July 4th 2011
By KEVIN TEME
HELA Wigmen took a step forward to getting back on track for the Digicel Cup by beating Prima Small Goods Gulf Isapea 22-10 in round nine yesterday at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby.
The victory also saw former Queensland and Australian fullback, Jullien O’Neill take the reins as the head coach after Wigmen’s board sacked Luke Goodwin last month.
It is believed Goodwin went to the extreme of playing himself in the game against the Toyota Enga Mioks in Wabag and other internal issues affecting the club.
The victory, albeit against the lowly Isapeas, will serve to appease supporters and sponsors as the team seeks to turn a poor start to the season.
The Wigmen victory was the result of an effective combination of key players in hooker Jerrich Whelma, halfback Ronnie Tenza, fullback Stargroth Amean and No. 6 Jessie Joe Parker.
The Isapeas led 10-6 at the break.
Isapeas centre Jason Koivi kicked a penalty but failed to convert his side’s two tries.
Parker who had an ordinary first 40 got his act together in the second period having a hand in several tries.
Isapeas gave up their lead as they let the Wigmen snatch the momentum with four unanswered tries.
Wigmen was given a boost by the hard-running Amean who got his side on the front foot with several strong kick returns.
His try in the first minute of the second half helped ignite the Hela side.
Parker directed play setting up Charles Onguglo twice in the 58th and 61st minute before prop Enoch Maki bulldozed his way to the line for the last try of the game.
Both sides struggled with the conversions with Isapeas kicking one from three and the Wigmen converting only one of their five attempts.
Meanwhile, SBSL Mendi Muruks, minus captain Joseph Omae, beat WGS Mt Hagen Eagles 18-10 in Lae and the Agmark Rabaul Gurias continued their undefeated home run seeing off Snax Lae Tigers 18-10 in Rabaul.