Gurias coach Oscar Tonga was elated with the result.
“It’s the first time for most for the players and I’m grateful because the young boys stepped up today. We stuck to our game plan and came out winners. We focused on defence and not only did it work out for us but gave us a result we didn’t expect,” Tonga said.
Watson Boas was given too much time and space by the visitors.
The Gurias pack led by Travis Waninara and Emmanuel Johnhad the Isapea back-peddling throughout the match.
Hooker Sakias Kabange filled the huge shoes left by Hunters export Wartovo Puara Junior perfectly as he continually found holes in the Isapea’s ruck defence. Gurias winger Tau Fitzgerald opened the scoring with five-eighth Jason Misian converting. Minutes later, Kabange sliced through the to score under the posts and Boas followed soon after with the first of his three tries.
Fitzgerald would have scored another try if was not for a fumble which cost him as Isapea fullback Jojo Forova scooped up the loose ball and raced the length of the field to score.
On the back of the second half, the Gurias shut out the Isapeas with five tries, two to Boas, and one each to Daniel Pai, Waninara and Boas Ruru.
Gulf scored a consolation try through Fijian Neitava Rarokoliwa in the dying seconds. Isapea’s coach Bobby Ako said his side defended poorly.
“Our defence was all over the place. They (Gurias) just kept coming and we just lost control,” Ako said. The Isapea showed fight through Johnny Horope, Joshua Thomas and Rarokoliwa but that was not enough to stop a fiery young Gurias outfit.
Match Summary: Agmark Gurias 44 (T. Fitzgerald, S.Kabange, W.Boas 3, B.Ruru, D.Pai, T.Waninara tries; J. Misian 6 con) Gulf Isapea 10 (J. Forova, N. Rarokoliwa tries; Forova con) Half time: 18-4