The National, Friday July 19th, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
THE Lae Tigers head to the Southern Highland for the first time this season and face the Mendi Muruks in a match they are expected to win.
The Muruks will certainly want to give their fans a win at Tente after going down to fellow Mendi-based franchise Hela Wigmen 30-24 last week.
The Tigers lost their No.1 spot on the Digicel Cup competition ladder when they lost to the Vipers 26-16 in Port Moresby last week and need to beat the lasplaced Muruks to ensure they have some monetum and form heading into the finals next month.
The Tigers are aware of the importance of this match with three more rounds after Sunday and only one home game in Round 17 against the Gulf Isapea.
Tigers team manager Tim Rodgers did not hide the fact that the Lae Biscuit Company-sponsored franchise still have a lot ot work to do in spite of their position on the ladder.
“It’s coming into the last four rounds and it’s a crucial time with the top five spots up for grabs and the minor premiership as well, it’s anybody’s game so we don’t want to let this slip,” Rodgers said yesterday.
“It’ll be the same line-up with Junior Pangogo coming in this week and will join the boys as the only inclusion. This is a must-win game for us,” he said.
The big cats will have the same line-up which lost to the Vipers and will have at their services former Muruks workhorse Roy Kela and winger Wellington Albert, who was a Muruks squad member last season before joining the Tigers.
For the Tigers this will be their first match this season in Mendi and coach Stanley Tepend, who is still in Wapanamanda, Enga, will join with his boys tomorrow in Mt Hagen before heading to Mendi, .
The Tigers’ Round 18 match will also be in Mendi where they will be hosted by the Hela Wigmen.