The National, Friday 03rd August 2012
By GABRIEL LAHOC
AFTER coming off a loss in their last encounter, a titanic battle is set for Lae on Sunday as SBSL Mendi Muruks on third place host second-placed Enga Mioks in the penultimate round of the Digicel Cup rugby league competition.
After hosting their last home ground match three weekends ago, the Tigers head up to Mt Hagen where they will face the intimidating local crowd who, like last weekend, will back their local WGS Hagen Eagles who last week ran over the Muruks 24-18.
The crowd on Sunday at the Lae rugby league ground will feature the Engans and Southern Highlanders who have large populations there.
Mioks captain David Loko is expected to lead with Danny Patrick, Nathan Anjo, Samuel Sok and Junior Balkawa taking on Muruks’ Joseph Omae and his brigade of Charlie Wabo, Paulus Mondo, Norbert Kembo and Jackson Undi.
Both halves have been in dominant form and will be looking to steer their team around the park in what is expected to be a rain-soaked afternoon such as the weather in Lae is.
Michael Wepi, Muruks team manager speaking on behalf of coach Joe Verani, pointed out that the reasons for their loss last Sunday in Mt Hagen.
“We had problems with transportation and accommodation, because we arrived late and had a hard time getting hotel rooms,” Wepi said.
“Players did not get a good night’s sleep and were not focused when taking the field against the Eagles, but after getting the boys together through a great week of training they are set for the Mioks.
“We will give good game to them despite the fact they will come hard at us.
“We know that they are still second on the ladder and would want to win that minor premiership.”