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Gurias looking sharpe

UNSUCCESSFUL finalists AGMARK Rabaul Gurias seem headed for another crack at the elusive SP Cup with a gritty 25-24 win over second spot contenders Porgera Joint Venture Enga Mioks at the Sir Danny Leahy rugby league ground in Goroka on Sunday.
Gurias looking sharpe
by NRL

UNSUCCESSFUL finalists AGMARK Rabaul Gurias seem headed for another crack at the elusive SP Cup with a gritty 25-24 win over second spot contenders Porgera Joint Venture Enga Mioks at the Sir Danny Leahy rugby league ground in Goroka on Sunday.
With six rounds to go, the Gurias earned themselves outright second placing on 12 points - two points behind Goroka Lahanis, after last weekend's round eight matches.
The Mioks remain perched on third position with 10 points. Pom Vipers on eight points are challenging them after their 10-7 win over Mendi Muruks. LBC Bombers who succumbed to Waghi Tumbes 16-11 in Madang are on seven and Mendi Muruks on five. Simbu Warriors and the Tumbes lead the rear on four points apiece.
The Gurias have been a consistent team for the last two seasons making the grandfinals but failing miserably to bag the elusive SP Cup. They lost to Goroka Lahanis in 1999 and Enga Mioks last year.
In a small way, the win over the Mioks in one of the double header matches scheduled for Goroka at the weekend, could be seen as sweet revenge, and while the two points are just rewards, the SP Cup will be even a greater reward after several years on the campaign trial.
Their consistency however, augurs well for the future and if they can maintain the momentum, then they are hoping that the saying that 'third time lucky' will be a real bonus.
In their encounter in Goroka, however, the Gurias had their work cut out for them to actually bag the points.
It took the experience and the skills of former Kumul and Islands Zone stalwart Normyle Eremas to break the 24-all deadlock with three minutes remaining on the clock.
The Gurias veteran potted a field goal from 20 metres out in the Mioks territory and that point alone earned the Tolai boys a 25-24 victory.
Eremas, in fact, posted the first points on the board after the Mioks were penalised for a high tackle. He was successful with his attempt at goal and Gurias led 2-0, 12 minutes into the first half.
Mioks retaliated with a try to forward Albert Paka out wide and the conversion being unsuccessful, took the lead 4-2.
The Gurias forward pack of Lucas Solbat, John Waka and Michael Marum continuously bombarded the Mioks defensive line soon after and Waka was rewarded with a converted and the Gurias snatched the lead 8-4.
Soon after, the Mioks made the unforced error of not maintaining their five metres and from the ensuing penalty, Eremas made no misake with his boot to put Gurias further ahead 10-4.
The lead spurred the Mioks to go on an aggressive offensive and hooker Nathan Anjo scooted over for a converted try to equalize the scores at 10-all.
The Mioks took advantage of Gurias' lull in defence to push forward their cause and Kumul forward Raymond Karl soon set up halfback Stanley Kale on a clean break towards the line for the Mioks to hit the front 16-10 after the conversion. The scores remained thus until the break.
In the second stanza, Kumul centre Chris Purkikil used his speed to outrun the Mioks defence to score a converted to put them on part with their opponents, 16-all.
The deadlock was broken several minutes later when the Mioks pressed forward with Kumuls Karl, James Kops and Stanley Tepend before Karl barged his way over for a converted try to put the reigning champions in front 22-16.
Tepend, who had been enjoying an excellent kicking game, collected two more points from a penalty goal to extend their lead to 24-16.
The Rabaul boys were not to be denied and following some good hit-ups by the forwards, prop Lucas Solbat brushed off seven Mioks defenders to score a converted try to peg back the Mioks' lead by two points.
The deficit was made up when Eremas potted a penalty goal after the Mioks were penalised for rough tactics.
The deadlock lasted until the 77th minute when Eremas called on all his experience and skill to put the issue beyond doubt in Gurias' favour 25-24




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