The National, Monday July 29th, 2013
WITH two games remaining in the Digicel Cup all playoff slots bar one are sown up.
The Lae Tigers, who narrowly lost to leaders Goroka Lahanis 18-16 yesterday at the National Sports Institute, face a daunting task against the Wigmen in Mendi in the last round in a match that could be for the fifth and last finals spot.
The Wigmen, who went down to the Rabaul Gurias 32-12 in Kokopo, are a mathematical chance – a very slim one – provided they win that last game and the Tigers fall to the Gulf Isapea this weekend in Lae.
The Teams that are assured of making the finals are the Lahanis (23), Gurias (22), Port Moresby Vipers (20) and Enga Mioks (20).
The Tigers on 18 points would need to lose the last two matches by big margins while the Wigmen on 14 would need equally good scorelines to help them beat a -62 differential. Tigers are +39 on for-and-against.
The Simbu Lions (14) have too great negative differential to be in the reckoning, while the Mendi Muruks (11), Gulf Isapea (9) and Mt Hagen Eagles (9) are out of contention.
They will only be looking to finish their seasons off with strong performances.
However the plus for the out-of-contention sides is that Kumul hopefuls in these teams will want to put on their best over this last 160 minutes of football to remind national selectors they are still contenders as they will not play for another five weeks.