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Port Moresby Vipers on a path to title defence

REIGNING Digicel Cup champions Port Moresby Vipers face their moment of truth.
The Stop N Shop-owned franchise are favoured to beat the Kemele/HGDC Hela Wigmen, but like last weekend’s experience in Kundiawa, they face all sorts of odds on and off the field.
They have been doing it all season and are getting used to it.
But the stakes are much higher in their semi-final against the Wigmen.
This Sunday they meet the Hela side at the Lae Rugby League Oval in another grinding elimination hit-out.
The city boys will get no favours from the latter and especially the likely pro-Wigmen spectators expected to turn out in numbers as well.
The onus will come down to the Vipers’ experienced hands to provide that appropriate foundation, if they are to make a game of it.
Skipper and Kumul Richard Kambo has a huge job on his hands to lead by example with pack leader Nixon Kolo, Elijah Riyong, Enoch Maki, Samuel Koim, Dick Nap and Steven Johns to keep their hopes alive to defend their title on August 24.
Vipers coach Leonard Tarum will again bank on the efforts of halves Tilix Kawage and Sebulon Ragi to direct traffic, with stylish winger Stargroth Amean in good form of late to back their heavier pack to bombard the Wigmen defences. 
Tarum has a Wigmen outfit coming off a string of losses and are staring down the barrel of another.
This in itself has set the stage for a fiery send-off for one of the sides.
Coming this far is new territory for the Wigmen and unless they pull the ‘rabbit out of the hat’ and do the unexpected, they will play second-fiddle to the classier Vipers.
Wigmen skipper Oliver Kerry is coming to good form but needs his forwards to stand up and rise to the challenge if they want to be competitive.
Much will depend on the Wigmen forwards including veterans Joseph Omai, George Moni, Samuel Sok, Felix Tangue and Raymond Tia.
These men have peformed consistently throughout the season to get their side this far but now they must rise to the next level and prove they  are genuine contenders for the title. The national

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