Wigmen lift intensity to beat ladder leading Gurias


HELA Wigmen upset the Digicel Cup ladder-leaders Rabaul Gurias 18-6 in their round eight fixture at Santos National Football Stadium on Sunday.
Trailing by four points at half-time, the Kroton-sponsored Wigmen scored three unanswered tries in the second-half to record their sixth win of the season.
Wigmen leap-frogged Mendi Muruks to second place on the ladder following the win while Muruks, who also recorded a 26-24 win over the Mioks in Wabag, dropped down to third on points differentials.
The loss was the Gurias’ second of the season. The Agmark-sponsored side share the same competition points (12) with Wigmen and Muruks but are maintaining the pole spot based on points differential. Meanwhile, the earlier match of the triple header at Santos NFS, Kimbe Cutters recorded their second straight win as they beat Gulf Isou 10-4.
After the bunker disallowed two Wigmen tries early in the game, the Seth Rip-coached side kicked a penalty goal through Patrick Morea to lead 2-0.
Gurias had repeat sets in Wigmen territory and scored the first try through captain Francis Takai who scored beside the uprights following a set move by Saki Peter and Joe Frank.
Peter’s conversion saw them led 6-4 at half-time.
Wigmen dominated the second-half with brutal defence and big runs as well as possession.
With more set-restart calls going Wigmen’s way from referee Leonard Alphonse, the hosts punished Gurias with tries to Norman Brown, Missach Wellen and Patrick Morea.
Solomon Pokare converted two tries.
Gurias forward Ismael Waiya was knocked out in an attempt to tackle Wigmen’s Manu Kame.
Rip was happy with his side’s defence.
“We dug deep and defended well,” he said after the round eight encounter on Sunday.