Tigers, Mioks clash worthy of top billing


WITH a bumper crowd expected to pack the Lae Rugby League Oval on Sunday the somewhat overshadowed battle between Digicel Cup competition leaders Enga Mioks face and hosts Lae Tigers still shapes up as a great curtain-raiser to the main game between the PNG Hunters and Norths Devils.
The Digicel Cup round 16 fixture sees the Mioks come to their second home — Lae — eager to maintain their top spot and secure the minor premiership while the home side, who are defending champions, are looking to stay in the top four after a patchy season.
With three games left the Mioks are on 24 points ahead of the Gurias (21), Tumbe (21), Tigers (18) and Wigmen (15) on the standings.
Tigers coach Stanley Tepend has brought in Fijian Tikiko Noke, who has been in strong form with his hard running.
Captain Ishmael Balkawa, Joe-Joe Wamallas, Junior Rop, Nicky Pilyo and Tiger Emere have also lifted their performances over the last three rounds.
Tigers halves rotation of Jason Missian, Edwin Ipape and Mafu Kalas hold the key to victory for Tepend’s men while ullback Joe Joshua remains the game breaker.
For the visitors it’s been a fairly tale run this season winning 11 games and drawing two from 15.
Coach Timothy Lepa and his captain Supa Kokote have built a genuine title contender but they will get their acide test on Sunday.
Rd 16 Fixtures: Sun, July 22 – Isou v Lahanis, Wigmen v Vipers, Warriors v Muruks, Gurias v Tumbe, Tigers v Mioks.