Tigers bombing out

Main Stories, Sports

The National, Friday, 27th May 2011

CELLAR-dwellers Snax Lae Tigers must win their round four clash tomorrow against the Prima Small Goods Gulf Isapeas in Port Moresby to salvage a season that is fast heading off the rails.
The under-performing Ti­gers have a 0-3 record so far this season having lost two home games to SBSL Mendi Muruks (21-20) and Toyota Enga Mioks (30-14) and then falling to the Congo Coffee Simbu Warriors (20-14) in Kundiawa last Sunday.
To be fair, the Tigers have struggled to close out matches from winnable positions this year but should have no excuses when they face second last Isapeas tomorrow.
With a roster that includes fringe Kumuls back Mark Mexico, gun forward Jerry Kutz, Amos Mini and veteran Lawrence Goive the Tigers represent one of the biggest leagues in the country and need to start winning to keep their fans interested.
For Isapeas, who strung together three impressive performances in their debut season, the thirst for their maiden win will be no more desperate.
Despite fielding only one player of note in former Kumuls centre Gimapau Keimelo, the Gulf team have played well above their weight matching opposition teams in skill, speed and power but only lacking in experience.
Captain Barry Pakaea has been a rock in the midfield while winger Pipi Kilori has a knack for sniffing out a try and journeyman Suckling Danage has relished a second life with Isapeas.
Isapeas management have also made ongoing efforts to make the game a family oriented spectator sport with the introduction of special seating for families and other concessions.
Tigers have also got in on the act by adding colour and entertainment to their matches by being the only side in the competition with their own cheer leaders.
But sideshows aside, this is a must-win game for both teams which should add to the atmosphere at Lloyd Robson Oval.
Meanwhile, the Hela Wigmen take on Mioks at the same venue on Sunday.
Stop N Shop Port Moresby Vipers have a daunting task when they face Muruks in Lae.
In the other games, the WGS Mt Hagen Eagles are meeting Agmark Rabaul Gurias in Kokopo on Sunday.