Top three to be tested


AFTER four rounds of the Digicel Cup the Gurias, Tigers and Tumbe remain unbeaten with Round 5 fixtures to test the top three.
The Agmark Gurias face their first genuine test of 2019 when they host the Fortuna Fresh Central Dabaris at Kalabond Oval in Kokopo, East New Britain, on Sunday.
Dabaris have been the true surprise packet after coming into the competition with high expectations and a promise of playing a different brand of rugby league.
The Central men beat defending champions Goroka Lahanis 18-14 last round and face a Gurias team that beat the Mendi Muruks 16-4 in the Southern Highlands capital.
The Gurias and Dabaris play a similar style of rugby league with the crux of their football based on offence and stretching defences with their pace as well as their use of angles and smart work out of dummy half.
The Lae Snax Tigers are a franchise that has proven itself to be the benchmark of the league over the past five seasons with their bland of aggressive and attacking rugby under coach Stanley Tepend.
The Tigers host the Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles in Lae and will by no means be the “home” team as the Highlands Highway offers fans easy access into the port city.
The Eagles have beaten the Dabaris (18-16) and Lahanis (8-6) and drawn with the Mioks (12-12) and lost to neighbours Tumbe (14-12) and won’t be intimidated by the Tigers.
The Tumbe face a Lahanis side still smarting from their 18-14 loss to debutants Dabaris last week.
The Tumbe can expect the Lahanis backlash at their National Sports Institute home ground in Goroka.
Standings: Gurias 8 (+86), Tigers 8 (+66), Tumbe 8 (+23), Dabaris 6 (+18), Eagles 5 (+2), Isou 4 (-28), Lahanis 2 (+34), Muruks 2 (-16), Wigmen 2 (-24), Vipers 2 (-39), Mioks 1 (-20), Cutters 0 (-96).