By Emmanuel Eralia
The mighty PRK Mendi Muruks have taken this year’s Digicel Cup competition by storm as they plotted 6/7 wins to sit on the second position. This is a great improvement compared to the past 6 seasons.
They are playing a more structured football and scoring good tries from set plays. If you are able to watch the highlight of their match against the Dabaris, you would see that.
Head Coach Rodrick Puname is a strict man of discipline; always promote young players and emphasis on a more structured way of playing. This is having a positive impact so far on the team.
Having a reliable fullback like Dickson Pipi is very important. He is also a strong defender and has improved a lot in delivering link balls to the outside backs. This has been so fruitful with young wingers Bob Tenza and Leon Undupiea being able to score tries almost every week. They are both very athletic with so much speed to burn and has acrobatic try scoring ability which is a bonus.
The halves pairing of Wesly Batari and Josiah Jimmy seems to be working well since regular five-eight Milex Winis got injured in round 3. Batari brings in a slick passing game and good experience from his former team Rabaul Gurias while young Jimmy completes the missing piece. Jimmy has nailed almost all conversations from the sideline as well and this could be the key ingredient to take Muruks all the way.
Another notable inclusion veteran lock Ismael Balkawa who complete the halves pairing so well. He is a very experience campaigner and very flexible too , steeping in as an extra half to connect set plays has been beneficial and would has been a key factor to the team’s strong campaign this season.
Other notable players are; prop Nelson Yei and Julias Yakopa who have been playing really well lately. They are both very mobile and workaholic in the forwards department. A call up to the PNG Hunters is inevitable.
Puname’s men are making a strong statement in this year’s campaign and I think they have just the perfect team to get the job done. It would be wonderful to see if they can be able to maintain the same composure throughout the 80 minutes and not to get too comfortable when they are leading.
Otherwise, Muruks have put forward a very strong case for a premiership this year and it looks very promising.
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