By LARRY ANDREW
DEFENDING champions Lae Tigers mauled the visiting Gulf Isou 40-8 in their round 10 Digicel Cup match in Lae on Sunday.
Coach Stanley Tepend’s side exacted revenge on the Gulf side, who had upset them 13-12 in round one.
The home side ran in eight tries to the visitors’ one.
The Isou had great support at the Lae Rugby League Ground with the city’s Gulf fans turned out in numbers to support coach Colin Geno’s rookie side.
The match also saw Tigers debutant player Cedric Maima put on report for dangerous tackle on an Isou player. Tigers forward Junior Rop also spent time on the sideline after being binned for using an elbow.
The Petroleum Resource Kutubu-sponsored Gulf side were first on the board with a penalty from five-eighth Joshua Thomas.
Tigers Wessa Tenza set up second rower Tiger Emere for the first try of the match with Jason Misian missing the conversion for 4-2 lead.
Inspired by Emere’s try the Tigers ruthlessly punished the Isou’s every mistake with centre Enoch Sine crossing for their second try.
Missian missed the conversion again as the home side extend their lead to 8-2 with just over 10 minutes of the game gone.
The Tigers went into overdrive piling four more tries through Anderson Benford, Tenza, Mafu Kalas and Noel Joel and Missian managed to convert them all for a 32-2 lead at halftime.
The visitors came back strongly in the second half with captain Moore Evara leading the charge for youngsters Patrick Obo, John Supa, Andie Luke Jr, Riko Jimmy and Benji Kot.
Despite dominating the half, the Gulf men could not convert the territory and possession and could only manage a solitary try to centre Ilave Sapea which was converted by Gahuna Silas to trial 32-8.
The Lae Biscuit Company-sponsored Tigers closed out the game with two more tries to winger David Lapua and a second for Benford.
Lae Tigers 40 (Tiger Emere, Enoch Sine, Wessa Tenza, Mafu Kalas, Noel Joel, David Lapua, Anderson Benford 2 tries; Jason Missian 4 con) Gulf Isou 8 (Ilave Sapea try; Gahuna Silas con, Joshua Thomas pen) HT: 32-2 (Tigers) at Lae Rugby League Ground, Lae, Morobe.
Round 10 Results: Sun, June 10 – Hela Wigmen 28 Mendi Muruks 16, Lae Tigers 40 Gulf Isou 8, Enga Mioks 32 Goroka Lahanis 18, Waghi Tumbe 26 Port Moresby Vipers 24, Agmark Gurias 30 Chimbu Warriors 12.
By LARRY ANDREW