Tigers set for Tumbe


LAE Tigers will aim for a repeat of last year’s grand final win when they meet reigning runners-up Waghi Tumbe in round six of the Digicel Cup in Minj on Sunday (2pm kick-off).
Unlike their form at the business end of last season, Jiwaka government-sponsored Tumbe are struggling find their rhythm after recording only one win to occupy ninth spot on the 12-team ladder.
In stark contrast, the Roy Kela-led Tigers have been solid since the start of the season, suffering just one loss to occupy the pole spot on the ladder.
The Lae Biscuit Company-sponsored Tigers outclassed 2020 champions Hela Wigmen 44-12 at the Lae Rugby League Ground last Sunday.
They will be out in full force to record another win at the Jonah Ambane Oval.
The Tigers will count on Kela, Tommy Moide, Adam Korave and Philemon Kimisive to dominate the middle and pave the way for centres Shallom Bire and Ben Wemin, and halfback Milex Winis to create scoring opportunities.
But Tumbe will always be a tough team to beat on home soil, irrespective of their form.
Tumbe have the pack that can match the Tigers with veteran Supa Kokote, Mark Mexico, Thompson Teteh and captain Dominic Minj looking to spearhead their bid for an upset win.
With inexperienced raw talents forming the core of Tumbe’s backline, it will be a challenge for their attack to match or better the Tigers on the scoreboard.
Tumbe have a healthy record at home, so Tigers will want to avoid complacency leading up to and during the match. Tigers manager Joe Kramer said recently that they would look to maintain their status as the top team in the country’s premier rugby league competition.
Fixtures: Sat, May 28 – Gurias v Eagles; Sun, May 29 – Tumbe v Tigers, Mioks v Dabaris, Lahanis v Vipers, Wigmen v Cutters, Isou v Muruks.