The National, Friday 24th August 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
WANDERERS do not want to make semi-final flops a habit when they face Brothers in the second elimination week of the Capital Rugby Union (CRU) competition on Saturday.
They have been in this situation two years in a row, under the Port Moresby Rugby Football Union (POMRFU) in 2010, and then last year in the Metro Rugby competition, losing the crucial one the week before grand final.
Coincidentally, it is 2010 all over again, as they prepare for Brothers in the face-off for the second grand final spot.
While the bulk of that team is still intact, only former coach Frank Mackanuey will be missing on the sidelines, after he moved to POMRFU harbour-based club Motuan Warriors.
Unconfirmed reports, however, have placed the former mentor was back at Amini Park this week, where the Wanderers train, on a consultating basis, and the signs are clear that this game is a win-at-all-cost deal.
“We lost this game two years in a row so we want to do it for each other. It’s been a long road and we want this one very badly,” 13-season veteran Richard Brendan said.
“We went through the video on Monday, and picked out the areas we really need to work on.
“Control in the rucks, cover defence and commitment in both areas.”
A backline reshuffle has relegated first choice first five-eighth Titus Lunguni to the bench, with the bigger Brendan stepping into the role, but the recall of the ageless Paul Pomoso, 38, into second-five brings greater experience to the mid-field.
Brendan picked standout performers from last week, 115kg tight-head prop Shane Amean, fetcher Silafa Enai and No.8 Gary Iga as the crucial influence in the sides performance.
“We need the ball in hand, and we can’t do that if these boys won’t do their bit,”
It has been a quiet week at the Brothers’ camp, with all hands from last Saturday’s 20-17 victory over Nova on deck.
The only doubt was former international Joe Kautu, who could not finish last week with a badly busted nose.
Locks Ahulo Ottio and Cyjoh Waingut will again be working hard at breakdown and set pieces, as they aim to lead their young troops into their first major grand final, this early into their careers.
The match kicks off at Bava Park Oval one at 3pm.