The National –Monday, January 10, 2011
By KEVIN TEME
FORMER players of Lae Bombers rugby league club, fans and followers have expressed disappointment with the change of name to the Morobe franchise.
The Morobe franchise will be carrying a new name – the Lae Snax Tigers – which is totally new to the people of Morobe and Papua New Guinea following the sponsorship of Lae Builders and Contractors for the last two decades.
However, the name has to change with major sponsor Lae Biscuit Company coming on board to ensure the team participates in this year’s inter-city competition.
“The name is new and is not good. They should have just put Lae Snax Bombers. Tigers have nothing significant in our culture and it will also be new to us,” a Bombers’ fan, who was dissatisfied with the new name, said yesterday.
Former players made similar sentiments, saying the name did not go down well with them but respected the Lae Biscuit Company for the sponsorship.
Attempts made to contact Russ Kaupa Sr, who was one of the board members, failed, however current Lae Royals coach and former Bombers’ player Peter Kennedy said Bombers had been the stronghold name for Lae and the Morobe people when it came to intercity competition.
“I see no reason why they have left out Bombers and introduced Tigers. We will lose a lot of following and I am sure some senior players will feel the same,” Kennedy, who is now the current head coach for last year’s runners-up, Royals, said.
He said it was good that Lae Biscuit realised the need to support rugby league at the intercity level after supporting Spiders rugby league club for the last decade but there was no need to change the name of the franchise.
Meanwhile, PNG National Rugby League chairman Don Fox has confirmed the change of name from Lae Bombers to Lae Snax Tigers.
“It is really a new name and the people need to know the name of their team this year,” Fox said.