By PARKER TAMBUA
DEFENDING champions Lae Tigers are wary of Digicel Cup ladder leaders Mendi Muruks ahead of their round-11 clash at the Lae Rugby League Ground on Sunday (3pm kick-off).
The Lae Biscuit Company-sponsored side are eyeing their third straight win to improve their fourth placing on the 12-team ladder.
Tigers had occupied the pole spot until round five when back-to-back losses pushed them down the ladder.
But following back-to-back wins over Enga Mioks and Port Moresby Vipers, Tigers manager Joe Kramer told The National yesterday that he was confident that his side would compete well against the Muruks.
“This is a top-four clash, so we are expecting a tough battle with the Muruks,” he said. “The Muruks are in good form – that is why they are at the top of the ladder.
“They will look to maintain their winning streak.
“We recorded a couple of losses when centre Ben Wemin was out with an injury and forward Philemon Kimisive got suspended.
“But they are back and we are regaining our form, so we’re ready to face the Muruks.” Kramer is expecting Muruks supporters to turn up in numbers.
He said the Tigers were used to loud fans at their home ground.
“Although it’s our home ground, the majority of the crowd supports our opponents many times.
“We have less support compared with other teams. With the Muruks now sitting first on the ladder, their fans will dominate the stands.
“But our focus will be on the field for the entire 80 minutes and hopefully we get the job done.”
Meanwhile, Enga Mioks will face Mt Hagen Eagles in the earlier match in Lae.
Fixtures: Sat, July 2 – Gurias v Lahanis, Cutters v Vipers; Sun, July 3 – Mioks v Eagles, Tigers v Muruks, Dabaris v Tumbe, Wigmen v Isou.
By PARKER TAMBUA