By PARKER TAMBUA
CAPTAIN Valentine Culligan has warned his Hela Wigmen against taking Rabaul Gurias lightly in their round-five Digicel Cup clash at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby tomorrow (3.05pm kick-off).
The reigning premiers are yet to lose this season while the Agmark-sponsored Gurias – like the Port Moresby Vipers – have so far had a stuttering campaign, recording two losses, a draw and a win.
But University of Papua New Guinea student Culligan told The National yesterday that their Marcus Kaugla-coached side were capable of rising to the occasion against fellow Digicel Cup heavyweights.
“They still are a champion team despite their inconsistent so far in 2021,” he said.
“We have a lot of respect for them.
“It’s always a challenge when you play them, so we are expecting another tough encounter.
“We know they lost against Eagles last week, but they are more than capable of turning up strongly against us, so we are prepared for it.”
The 2021 SP Hunters pre-season squad member said he was proud of the effort his men had put into continue a perfect start in their title defence.
Culligan said the bulk of their players were new, but they had adapted well to the culture and standards of the Kroton-sponsored Wigmen.
“We lost seven grand final winners to the Hunters this year,” he said.
“We also lost Junior Mel and Kitron Laka to other Digicel Cup sides.
“But I’m proud of the way our new players have carried themselves so far.
“Regardless of who’s wearing the jersey, they always strive to get the job done – that’s the reason we’ve started the season well.
“But having said that, I think we are still far from our best.
“We are improving in each game and it’s important to maintain that.”
Meanwhile, the Gurias dropped out of the top-six following last weekend’s loss to the sixth-placed Eagles.