Wigmen beat Moni Plus NCDC Vipers 22-20 at the Santos National Football Stadium on Sunday.
After a horror start to their title defense, accounting for a draw and 3 disappointing losses, the 2022 premiers showed glimpses of what a quality side they can be on their day, after picking up their first win of the season at the expense of Vipers.
After trading conservative sets in the opening exchanges, Vipers struck first in the 5th minute when big Stanton Albert burrowed his way over from close range, to put his team on the front foot 6-0.
At the back of some good inroads into Vipers half, Wigmen's rookie speed machine Cyril Seiba working the left edge for the first of his double to draw level 6 all.
In the next wave of attack, Wigmen were over the white line again, this time power centre 3/4 Junior Igila showing his skill and strength to crack the Vipers defense for a 10-6 lead.
Crafty play from dummy half Vipers maestro No.9 Supa George got the Vipers back to a 10 all scoreline.
From a scrummage 10 out from Vipers line, PNG Hunters recruit Trevor Solu wrong footed a number of would-be defenders to pick up Wigmen’s 3rd try to push Wigmen in front 16-10. A brilliant offload from lanky Philemon Kimisive resulted in Junior Kevau scoring on the right corner in the 35th minute to close the first half at 16-14 in favor of Wigmen.
The defending premiers opened the scoring in the 2nd half with Seiba getting his 2nd to put Wigmen further in front 22-14.
A grubber from rugby league journey man and Vipers fullback Edene Gebbi setting up Benson Dabire to for a thrilling finish at 22-20 with Wigmen in front.
In the end, Wigmen hung on to pick up their first win of the season.