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Mioks and Vipers clash ended in a cliffhanger

The crossover round (round 14) of the Digicel-ExxonMobil Cup between the EPG Mioks and Port

Moresby Moni Plus Vipers saw the match ending in a tie (22-22) at the Santos National Football

Stadium on Sunday (July 23rd, 2023).

This was the much-anticipated match, as hundreds and thousands of avid Port Moresby fans went to watch the blockbuster and root for their respective teams. The 15, 000 seating capacity stadium almost filled to the brim. This was the biggest crowd of the 2023 season so far. The atmosphere was similar to the grand final. It was electrifying. The two teams did not disappoint, as they rose to the occasion and delivered a mouthwatering and money’s worth performance. They in fact lived up to the hype and expectations of the fans. The match ended in a nail-biting tie, putting an end to Mioks 13-winning streak.

The Mioks ran onto the field with a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd. Mioks opened the

game by scoring the first try only five minutes into the first half. That was neatly done by Manase

Kai, who touched down a ball-saving try right before the outside line. With a successful conversion,

Mioks took a 6-0 lead. It took only five more minutes before Mioks Winger, Joel Williams cut through his right wing to score another try. However, the conversion was unsuccessful, putting the score at 10-0.

The momentum was with Mioks until they gave a penalty to the Vipers, which resulted in a sin-bin

offence. Vipers capitalized on that and scored a try through Abel Rami. In the final 7 minutes,

veteran Edene Gebbie, the flying winger caught the ball in the air from a perfect cheap kick and

grounded the ball on the corner. The conversion was successful, leaving the scores 8-10. Right on the stroke of half time, Vipers scored their third try. The host took a 14-10 lead over the visitors at half time.

The second half was truly a match of football ingenuity and prowess. Vipers gave a penalty that sent one of them off, and Francis Soim scored a try for the Mioks. Later backed by Ismael Gibson, the score increased to 22-14. Mioks’ high tackle sent another to the bin. This created a huge gap for the Vipers, as Joel Gena and Yeki Benjamin scored a try each under eight minutes. This brought the scoreline to 22-22. Towards the last 7 minutes, the pressure mounted, as both teams made silly errors and the game ended in a cliffhanger.

Mioks head coach Billy Gau said the draw motivated them to return better.

“We made a lot of mistakes today and the Vipers capitalized on that. Yes, we have a fast ball run

structure but we made a lot of mistakes and will work on that. We just have to complete our sets,”

coach Gau said.

He added that the 13 straight wins were due to the discipline and consistency of the team.

"We have a lot of young boys and they have disciplined themselves, which is why we were able to win 13 straight games so far. I am happy with the current team of players. It’s helpful to have a draw or loss to learn from and improve on,” he added.

He added that he was proud of his team for making history, and was blown away by the crowd’s


"13 consecutive wins is historic for the Mioks and Digicel Cup. The crowd was awesome. It was the biggest one my team and I have ever seen. It would be an excellent experience for the team, leading up to the finals,” coach Billy concluded.

The Mioks will take on the Sepik Pride on Saturday the 29th at National Football Stadium.

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