Vipers, Muruks clash end in tie

A physical encounter between the Port Moresby Vipers and Mendi Muruks ended in a 14-14 draw at the National Football Stadium on Sunday.

Disregarding their standing on the ladder, the Muruks came out physically to nearly upset the Vipers.

But a Supa George Fabian grubber ensured the scores were locked five minutes from full time.

It was a physical match from the go with both teams muscling up in defense.

But it was some brilliant running and dummying from Vipers halfback, Ate Bina Wabo, who opened the scoring.

The Muruks would respond 10 minutes later through some inside running from captain Jack Manda from a Leonard Alphonse pass.

On the stroke of half time, Vipers Ade Kawa ran 40 metres to score after a Larson Marabe off-load to Sparo Thomas.

That did not deter the Muruks, who immediately scored after half time through winger Naduka Ameraita after halfback Alphonse exploited the Vipers’ rushing defense.

It was a physical 25-minute period before some crafty dummy half running from Muruks hooker Tara Wayabe, put through five-eight Samuel Wagano for a try.

The Vipers were not done and came back strong in the last 10 minutes to keep the Muruks camped on their own 20-metre line before a grubber by Supa George led to the equalizer.

An unsuccessful field goal attempt by Vipers half Benton Leme ended what was an exciting first match of the Port Moresby double header.

Muruks coach Thomas Undupie and Vipers coach Joe Sipa said errors and not sticking to their game plans were the difference for them.

Cedric Patjole