Three-try hero Johnson Kuike (centre) of the Rangers getting tackled by Lae Bombers players led by veteran forward Lawrence Goive (left) in round four of the bemobile Cup yesterday in Port Moresby. Rangers won 36-16. – Nationalpic by EKAR KEAPU
Masta Mak Rangers finally snap three-game bemobile Cup losing streak
By HENRY MORABANG in The National
LOCK Johnson Kuike put on the man of the match performance scoring a hattrick of tries to help Masta Mak Rangers register their first bemobile Cup victory 32-16 over Lae Bombers at Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby yesterday.
In the other games yesterday, Kongo Coffee Warriots proved too classy for Bintangor Goroka Lahanis 16-10 in Goroka, NGIP Agmark Gurias buried WGS Mt Hagen Kuris in Kokopo 36-0 and Structural Bridging System Mendi Muruks fought a 20-all draw with Stop and Stop Civpac Vipers in Lae.
Kuike, a BSP security officer from Simbu, scored half of his side’s six tries to rout the Bombers who scored three.
After failing to complete 12 sets of six in an an abominable error-ridden opening 15 minutes, the Port Moresby franchise were seemingly in deep trouble especially with the ball coming loose in contact.
To their credit the Rangers regrouped to send Kuike through some half-hearted Bombers defence to open the score in the 12th minute for a 6-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Bombers secondrower Yobo Motoro replied for the visitors with an unconverted try to trail 6-4.
The game see-sawed for a period before Kuike visited the tryline again in the 21st minute to extend the score 10-4.
Rangers capitalised on their heavier forwards and started to create the time and space for a potent backline to flourish.
In one such move, the Rangers worked a slick move down the left flank to send winger Joel Ambrose through in the 26th minute .
Goalkicker Simon Maniat made sure of the conversion to cushion their lead 16-4.
With four minutes before half time, Rangers fullback Samson Ene scored from a Maniat inside ball to break out to a 22-4 lead at half time.
In the second half, Rangers using their forward might to punch holes in the Bombers which eventually led Kuike to scoring his third of the afternoon in the 41st minute. With another succesful conversion by new recruit Skipper Mel the Rangers were out to a commending lead 28-4. Power Ranger Ham Tee all but sealed the match in 48th minute for a 32-4 advantage.
The Bombers sensing the game was slipping away game back strongly in the last 10 minutes to score two tries.
Skipper Russ Kaupa Jr displayed his individual brilliance with a clever chip and chase to recollect and score next to the uprights to peg back the lead 32-10.
Bombers forwards Nelson Tony, Lawrence Goive, Sydney Fred, Ben Kaupa started to muscle up on Rangers forwards resulting in an entralling final minutes as Rangers big men Enoch Maki, Nathan Anjo, Ford Tuli and skipper Francis Ray clashed with Bombers pack.
The Lae team’s consistency in the last minute paid off when five-eighth Martin Yanda scored a consolation try to add some respectability to the final scoreline.
The match was well controlled by Porgera-based State of Origin accreditated linesman Wayne Wool.