By MELTON PAIS
THE Enga Mioks travel to Southern Highlands capital Mendi to take on the Muruks in the third round of the Digicel Cup on Sunday.
The Mioks are coming off a 16-14 loss to the Waghi Tumbe in Minj last round and are keen on getting a win over the Southern Highlanders at Tente Oval.
The Enga provincial government-sponsored franchise have two hard-nosed props in Kot Kerua, a former Muruk, and Israel Stevens and their clash with the homeside’s Nixon Kolo and Brandy Peter will be worth the price of admission.
Mioks coach Timothy Lepa has at his disposal former Hunters halfback Roger Laka, who started off the bench in the first game against the Port Moresby Vipers in Wabag and played a role in the Minj match.
A veteran these days, Laka’s game time has been restrict to 40 minutes a match so he will need to make his time on the field count against the Muruks who have their tails up after a win over the Vipers in Port Moresby last round.
“Kot and Israel have started off the Digicel Cup season with some really good performances. They’ve been a handful for defences and I’m expecting them to carry that form into the game against the Muruks,” Lepa said.
Lepa said the Mioks backline would need to complement the pack by making good use of the ball.
“Roger, when he gets on will need to organize our attack and give us direction. Hopefully, we’ll be in a good position when he gets his time on the field.”
Laka will not be alone in terms of having familiar teammates to combine with. He has three Paga Panthers teammates including hooker Jeffrey Para from the side that won the Ipatas Cup earlier this year.
The side will be led by the experienced Supa Kokote with the game plan a simple on: get the two points from this match. Lepa said his side proved in their round one win over the Vipers that they could play a structure brand of football and barring any surprises by the Muruks he expected the game to be a tight affair.
“We can win this match. We just have to keep our errors to a minimum and complete our sets.”
The Mioks will travel to Hagen today to prepare before heading to Mendi on Sunday for the match.
Fixtures: Sun, May 21 – Tigers v Vipers, Lahanis v Wigmen, Muruks v Mioks., Tumbe v Gurias.
By MELTON PAIS