The Vipers had to walk through fire to secure a brave 28-16 win in difficult conditions.
Rowdy fans started to hurl beer bottles, cans and other debris onto Lloyd Robson Oval 10 minutes into the second half, prompting Wool to stop play and walk off with his touch judges.
The match was delayed for 18 minutes as a result of the crowd behaviour.
PNG NRL general manager Hubert Warupi and Vipers medical officer Dr James Naipo did their best to quell the unrest.
Drunk Mioks fans unhappy with their side’s first half performance resorted to peppering the field with an assortment of objects and even lit several fires as their side failed to score points against the Vipers.
The halftime score was 16-4 to the Vipers. Tries to
Gary Lo, Richard Kambo and captain Larsen Marabe ensured the home side were firmly on the front foot while the Engans scored through Paul Kambi.
The Vipers not only had to put up with a menacing crowd but they were on the receiving end of numerous instances of rough play.
Kambo scored his second try in the 47th minute, while lock Adam Korave capped off a strong performance with a try in the 54th minute to push the Vipers out to an unassailable 24-4 lead.
The inevitable fightback came from the visitors with Jeffrey Maino and Maxwell Auvita scoring late tries but they butchered at least two more with loose passes and poor handling.
Port Moresby Vipers 28 (G Lo, R Kambo 2, L Marabe, A Korave tries; S Pandia 4 con) Enga Mioks 16 (P Kambi, J Maino, M Auvita tries; R Laka 2 con).
NGIP Agmark Gurias Head Coach Michael Marum’s confidence in his boys paid off with a 54 – 20 victory over the Enga Mioks at the Kalabond oval in front of an excited home crowd, who are looking forward to another tougher encounter between the home team and visiting Stop and Shop Port Moresby Vipers this coming Sunday at the graveyard.
But round 18 of the Digicel Cup at the Kalabond yesterday saw fresh teams begin with the usual enthusiasm of excellent hard rocking hit ups and balls skills but it did not take more than five minutes for the first 4 points to be put up for the Gurias from Boas Ruru followed by two consecutive William Akuila tries for the Gurias before Miok’s Jeffrey Maino put up their first points to trail 4 – 16.
But a determined home side set up two consecutive Manuel Toide tries in response and Wartovo Puara Jnr fed Captain Ase Boas to score with the first successful conversion of the afternoon by Francis Paniu to find half time score 30 – 4 over the Mioks.
For the first time, we observed Gurias’ Coach Michael Marum not shouting at his boys but encouraging them to maintain their stream of play while Mioks Coach Timothy Lepa gave his boys some pep talk to improve on their poor defence and ball handling skills.
But seconds into the second half Timothy Bongas broke through the Mioks defence again to put up another four points to the Gurias favour and despite some brutal defence from the Mioks, Gurias managed to send in Nelson Daplen for another try over the Miok’s tryline that was set up by Captain Boas and a second successful conversion by Paniu to secure a comfortable 40 – 4 over the Mioks.
A heavy Mioks sent in Philip Dama and Alastair Wata to score tries over the Gurias’ tryline in an attempt to close the score line with one successful Rodger Laka conversion to find 14 points to 40 in favour of the home team.
But missed tackles and ball handling errors on the Mioks part gave the Gurias an upper hand to secure three more tries sending Francis Paniu, a second Daplen try and Quinten Ragi with the third successful Paniu conversion closed their points at 54 and the mighty Miok’s still fought back to the dying minutes to ensure a David Loko try and successful Laka conversion kick sealing their match points at 20 points.
Mioks Team Manager Joseph Kilipal said the Gurias gave his boys a good game and although both sides played well, his boys made too many ball handling errors that the Gurias capitalised on. Even three Mioks players were injured and had to be taken off the field of play yesterday.
Never the less, on a positive note the boys were thankful that Enga Governor Peter Ipatas and Provincial Administrator Dr Samson Ame were at the Kalabon to support their home team that they sponsor and await confirmation from the PNG NRL where this coming Sunday’s finals venue among the top five teams in which Mioks take on the Lae Snax Tigers who lost to Mendi Muruks yesterday 20 – nil.
Meanwhile, a content Gurias Head Coach Marum says his boys would be building up their defence skills this week in preparation for this Sunday’s top five finals match against the Vipers at home given his boys had no major injuries this time around. Should they continue this winning streak, they take on the Bintangor Goroka Lahanis at the National Sports Institute in Goroka the week after.
A charge down that turned into a run-away try for Mioks skipper Roger Laka, saved the day for the Engans, in the minor semifinal of the Digicel Cup Challenge.
Enga Mioks sent the Lae Snax Tigers packing, after an impressive 24-16 victory.
It was a rematch of this season’s round 13 game hosted by the Mioks at the Johnson Siki Oval, a match that turned nasty. But this time both teams knew what was at stake, and needed to do it right in front of a packed PRL Oval.
Tigers wasted no time as they clawed their way past Mioks defense on the wing to lead in the opening minutes with an unconverted try.
Mioks bounced back with two tries, both conversions successful to gain a comfortable lead 12-4 going into half time.
Mioks returned with more determination in attack earning a penalty kick to maintain an outright lead over the Tigers.
But Tigers’ never-say-die attitude turned into a try from inside centre Thompson Tete to steal the lead 16-14.
Mioks were solid in defense, and then it was captain Roger Laka who led a charge down on Tigers attack to run away to a classy try in the corner.
Lae Snax Tigers’ hopes of going further in the competition were shattered by the Mioks.
Mioks will now meet Vipers in Port Moresby, while Gurias go up against minor premiers Goroka Lahanis in the major semifinals.
Meanwhile, the entire board and Management of the PRK Prima Gulf Ispaeas have been removed by Gulf Governor Havila Kavo. Chairman Peter Loko was also removed.
The team finished as wooden spooners for the 2nd consecutive season despite a good start.
The Gulf franchise has been part of the semi-professional Digicel Cup competition for 3 seasons.
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