Muruks warned ahead of Tigers tie


MENDI Muruks coach Roderick Puname has warned his men against complacency as this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash with Lae Tigers is expected to provide a sterner test of their premiership credentials.
He said that after centre Bob Tenza scored a hat-trick to help the side beat Rabaul Gurias 20-8 in round nine of the Digicel Cup at the Lae Rugby League Ground on Sunday.
“Even though the Gurias aren’t doing well on the ladder, they have been competitive,” he said.
“They tested us and it was great to play a tough side like them ahead of the finals.
“But we will have to be a lot better against the ladder-leading Tigers.”
Bob bagged the Muruks’ first try in the sixth minute to give the Petroleum Resources Kutubu-sponsored side a 4-2 lead after the Agmark-backed Gurias opened the scoring with a penalty goal four minutes in.
The Roderick Puname-coached Muruks extended their lead when bench forward Obert Koim scored a try under the uprights via a set move by skipper and hooker Wessa Tenza.
Halfback Joshia Jimmy kicked the conversion to give the second-placed Muruks a 10-2 lead in the 28th minute.
The Muruks went further ahead when man of the match Bob received an offload from second-rower Julius Yakopa and sprinted 50m to score on the right edge. Jimmy converted the extras for a 16-2 lead.
Early in the second half, the Gurias muscled up in defence and applied pressure on the Muruks with fullback Ilias Stanley making number of breaks, but they could not convert their chances into points.
The game seesawed for a while before Bob bagged his third try after the Muruks’ won a scrum 10m from the Gurias’ tryline. Jimmy missed the conversion, leaving the Muruks with a 20-2 lead in the 56th minute.
But the Gurias refused to give up as they continued to apply pressure and were reward with their first try through skipper Bernard Goma off an error by the Muruks.
However, that was all the Gurias could produce as the Muruks ran out comfortable victors against coach Marcus Kaugla’s men.