The National, Monday 27th May 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
THE Kemele Hela Wigmen caused the major upset of the 2013 Digicel Cup shocking champions Agmark Rabaul Gurias 34-24 at the Joe Keviame Oval in Mendi yesterday.
The Wigmen struggling to get on par with the rest of the field surprised a full-strength Gurias outfit who were the slayers last round when they thrashed Mt Hagen 64-8 in Kokopo.
Wigmen under coach Stanley Hondina last week said beating TNA Lions in their first win was nothing to get excited about, but a prized scalp in the Gurias would definitely be a cause to celebrate.
Wigmen franchise chairman Andy Hetra said yesterday Joseph Omai again led by example, with nippy Wesa Tenza standing out with the move to hooker and strong performances from props Jerry Tapara and Raymond Haluma.
The Helas scored tries through young winger Dickson Paul (2), centre Oliver Kerry, Ronnie Tenza, Andrew Ipi and the icing on the cake by Omai.
In the nation’s capital, Stop N Shop Port Moresby Vipers sent the momentum-building PRK/Prima Gulf Isapea back to square one with a 28-4 win.
The Gulf team clearly missed the go forward and aggression provided by the suspended prop Nixon Kolo.
The Vipers welcomed their return back to their sprirtual home and asserted their authority and intent in the local derby.
Man of the match Larson Marabe played with a lot of purpose as the Vipers physically blew the Isapea off the park.
Halfback Israel Eliab put on notice in recent weeks also stepped up with halves partner Peter Paulus.
Their jobs were made a lot easier working behind a dominant forward pack.
Isapea, who had won a lot of hearts in recent weeks with their consistent form, failed to live up to expectations.
It took the Vipers nine minutes before winger Elijah Riyong struck with the opening try and they never looked back with tries to back to prop Steven Johns (19th) and winger Gary Lo (35th) in a dominant first half to lead 18-0.
Despite Isapea showing signs of a recovery through Pipi Kilori’s try after the break, Vipers Enoch Maki, Johns, Adam Korave and Sebastian Pandia powered their way back with some slick running from dummy-half Charlie Wabo and fullback Josiah Abavu to take charge of the remainder of the half.
Further tries to Abavu and then Lo in for his second try killed off any possibility of a fightback by the Crocodiles.