Tigers lose third match

Normal, Sports

The National, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SNAX Lae Tigers suffered their third consecutive defeat at the hands of Kongo Coffee Warriors 20 -14  in Kundiawa on Sunday.
Warriors gave their fans something to cheer about with their first win of the season.
The Kundiawa-based team started their season with two draws (4-4 versus Hela Wigmen in round one and 8-8 against Gulf Isapeas in round two) but finally managed a win against perenial underachievers Lae.
To their credit, Tigers started strongly in the second half to take a narrow 10-8 lead, however they faded in the last quarter to hand Warriors their first win of the season.
Warriors did not want to let their supporters down and opened up their account just three minutes into the first half through a Sonny Daing try.
His backline partner, Andrew Sipil, stepped his way through Tigers defence for their second try in the 16th minute to extend the margin to 8-0.
The conversions to both tries missed.
Former Warriors forward Jerry Kutz, now back with Lae, played  a blinder leading the Tigers charge against his former team.
Kutz bulldozing runs and gritty defence in the middle lifted his  team.
But a relentless defence from the Warriors prevented any of those charges turning into tries.
It was not until three minutes before halftime that another Chimbu native Jerry Wemin originally from Wara Simbu village got the Tigers on the board with an unconverted try to go into the sheds 8-4 down.
Five minutes into the second half, Tigers five-eighth Martin Yanda chipped and regathered before sending Wemin over again for the Tigers’ second try.
Peter Peyala’s boots added the extras and saw the Tigers take the lead for the first time in the match at 10-8 at Dickson Oval.
Sensing their men were dropping off, a raucous partisan crowd urged the Warriors on lifting Sigfred Gande’s men to another level as they pushed to regain the lead.
Warriors five-eighth Francis Paniu sold a dummy from a scrum win near the half way line and off loaded to fullback Joel Ambrose who who scored under the posts.
Paniu converted his own try and extended the Warriors lead to 14-10.
Warriors held off a string of desperate assaults by the Tigers to hold on to their four-point lead until debutant Supa Takai stepped through some tiring Lae defence to increase their lead to 18-10.
Francis Paniu added the extras and this saw the Warriors leading 20-10.
In the 77th minute, former Enga Mioks Wanpis James scored a consolation try for the Tigers leaving the final score of the game at 20-14.
The Tigers are now without a win this season and face another challenge when they take on Gulf Isapeas, who are yet to win this year as well save for a draw against the Warriors in round two, in Port Moresby on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Warriors chairman Jerry Kapka, thanked all their fans for turning up in numbers to watch the match.
He said his side would dedicate this year’s matches to the memory the late Joe Mek Teine, the Member for Kundiawa/Gembogl, who was instrumental in getting the franchise back into the intercity competition.
Gumine MP and Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Lucas Dekena, an ardent supporter of Warriors, was present to watch the game.
He presented K20,000 to Warriors management for this year’s Digicel Cup campaign.
He promised that the assistance would be given annually to the franchise.