Morobe Tigers keep top spot on Lae league table despite loss


MOROBE Tigers retained pole spot despite losing 6-10 to Royal in round four of the Lae Rugby League men’s competition in the Morobe capital on Saturday.
Boasting 10 clubs in the Under-20, women’s and men’s divisions, the competition had a one-and-a-half-year-long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The clubs are 13A Bulldogs, QED Magani, Tent City Besta Rangers, Lae Biscuit Spiders, Kamkumung Crushers, Kendol Royals, 21C Panthers, 14B Pirates, Raumai 18 Miles United and ESS Morobe Tigers.
Royals opened the scoring with a converted try to prop Barnabas Kama with Body Mark converting for a 6-0 lead to keep the Tigers at bay.
But the Executive Security Systems-sponsored Tigers responded with a try to former SP Hunter Buttler Morris after winning a scrum which both sides packed after a fumble Royals fullback Jarred Mitti.
Halfback Chris Teko slotted the extras to level the scores at 6-6.
The second stanza was in the balance as both teams tested each other’s defence.
Ten minutes from fulltime, Royals centre Junior Tumu crossed over for an unconverted try.
The Tigers had the opportunity on the right edge to force a draw, but they conceded an error one metre short of the opposing tryline.
Meanwhile, Tent City Besta Rangers celebrated their new International Food Corporation-sponsored apparel in style with a 16-6 win over Magani.
In other results, Bulldogs beat Panthers 10-0, Pirates defeated United 26-10 and Crushers triumphed over Spiders 21-6.
The competition endured a slow start on Queen’s Birthday, but had gathered momentum with clubs stepping up over the last three rounds.