LONG-SUFFERING Gulf Isapea fans finally got the win they had waited nine weeks
for when their side beat the Enga Mioks 16-14 on Sunday at the Lae Rugby League
The hard-fought victory was soaked up by team management, officials and players as the full time siren sounded.
For coach Bobby Ako after eight consecutive losses, winning a match was their only goal for his luckless charges as they started the second round of competition in Pool 2.
Both teams scored three tries each with both opposing outside centres grabbing a
brace each and one conversion each however it was a penalty goal by the Isapeas
that made the difference.
It was a tough match however the Mioks pack were
somewhat subdued in their approach.
Mioks right winger Wawa Paul dived over
for their first try of match.
Isapea centre Jojo Forova, pictured, kicked a
penalty to halve the deficit.
The match ebbed and flowed as both sides
fought to control the ruck.
It was the two opposing players in jersey number
three who played out of their skins. Gulf’s Ricky Sibia ran in the visitors’
second unconverted try only for Mioks Toby Kopi responding in similar fashion,
beating defenders to score on the opposite end.
Mioks halfback Willie Guambo
managed to convert Kopi’s try levelling the scores at 10-10 with 20 minutes to
After a quick set which saw the Isapea quickly putting the ball through
the hands until it ended up in Sibiya’s who out-paced a tiring Mioks defence to
score his second which was converted by Forova 16-10 lead. Kopi got his name
on the scorebook again stepping his way through to bag his second try which
Guambo failed to convert in his last but most important attempt to see Mioks
trail on 14 points in the dying minutes of the match.
The best of the day
for the winners were Sibiya who was named man of the match, fullback George
Kose, lock Joshua Thomas and bench forward Andrew Luke Jr.
Isapeas return to
Lae in the final pool match as part of a double header next Sunday.
Gulf will face their stiffest challenge yet when they take on competition
leaders Lae Tigers.
A win over the Tigers, who beat the Gurias on Sunday in
Kokopo, in Lae will show the Isapea are genuine contenders in Pool 2.
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
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Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
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2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
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World Cup Results
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Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36