Tigers roar back into form, Mioks rampant


DEFENDING Digicel Cup premiers the Lae Snax Tigers roared back into form with a determined 22-6 win over the Kroton Hela Wigmen in their second round fixture at the Lae Rugby League Ground yesterday.
In Wabag, the Enga Mioks continued the Agmark Gurias’ wretched form on the Highlands Highway handing the New Guinea Islanders a 38-16 thumping at Aipus Oval.
Still smarting from their 13-12 upset loss to debutants the PRK Gulf Isou in the competition opener last week in Port Moresby, the Tigers played with more urgency and purpose as they looked to avoid a second failure, this time at home infront of their fans.
Coach Stanley Tepend credited his side’s defence which laid the foundation for their first win of the season.
“We got a lot of positives out of that game. I think our defence really won it for us,” Tepend said.
Tepend’s side triumphed in a scrappy affair with halfback Jason Missian and three-quarter Nick Pilyo combining to score tries in the first half to give their side a 10-0 lead at halftime.
“We’ve dropped a lot of ball and that is probably letting teams back into the game,” Tepend said.
“Ball control is a problem because it means we’re giving up possession and defending more sets than we need to.”
The Wigmen have become somewhat of the Tigers bogey team over the past three seasons and Hela centre Standford Talita ensured his side stayed in the contest with a four-pointer for his side to trail 10-4.
The Wigmen closed the margin to four points (10-6) with a penalty goal to fullback Paul Nelson but that was a close as they would come to the home side picked up the pace and stormed back with tries to centre Charles Martin and impressive No.1 Joe Joshua.
Missian and hooker Noel Joel added a conversion each to cap off the performance and get the reigning champions on the table with two points.
In the Enga provincial capital, Hood Kawage scored a hat-trick of tries as the Mioks ran roughshod over the visiting Gurias.
Rex Reto, Valentine Wandi and Eddie Daffa crossed for the home side after coach Timothy Lepa’s men took a 12-10 lead into the halftime break.
Gurias Tuvi Lepan and Grian Gispe scored for their side with halfback Solomon Pokari kicking a goal.
In attendance were Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas and PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka while Port Moresby referee Paul Wani controlled the match.
In Port Moresby, the Isou were brought back down to earth with a 12-8 loss to the Chimbu Warriors at the Sir John Guise Stadium.
Warriors centre Oliver Anton crossed late in the second stanza to get his side in front after an 8-8 scoreline at halftime.
Warriors Nehemiah Joel scored a try in the opening half while Isou captain Stanis Susuve bagged a four-pointer for his side.

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