LAE Snax Tigers coach Stanley Tepend says he was relieved that his side managed to grind out an 18-10 win over the Petroleum Resources Kutubu-backed Mendi Muruks on Sunday.
“We’re pretty relieved to get that win,” Tepend said yesterday.
“It’s not like we haven’t been trying hard this season. The boys have put in the effort but the results just haven’t been coming. We’ve played well but have lost in some games so it was great to finally get a win.”
Tepend said aside from form and confidence issues, especially early on, the side had also been effect by having a different halves combinations over the last four rounds.
“One thing that’s really had an effect on our game this season has been the constant changes in the halves department.
“We’ve had a different combination for the last four games and it’s tough for a team to settle into a rhythm when there’s no continuity particularly in the halves,” Tepend said.
He said form and injuries been the main reason for the changes to the halves with Edwin Ipape and Mafu Kalas the main combination.
Back-rower Junior Rop was a standout in their sides win over the weekend in front of a pro-Muruks crowd at the Lae Rugby League Ground.
The match was stopped twice as Muruks fans turned rowdy hurling verbal abuse at referee Aaron Henry.
In the second incident a Tigers player was hit by a projectile from the crowd causing the home side to batten down the hatches as Mendi fans looked to intimidate the match officials and game organisers.
This took place after the Tigers had scored the match-winning try in the dying stages of the game.
The visitors were first on the board through Adam Korave with an unconverted try but Tigers five-eighth Jason Missian hit back quickly for a 4-4 score line. Muruks halfback Samuel Wagano slotted a penalty for a 6-4 lead.
With the Muruks pack muscling up the Tigers answered the call led by Rop, veteran Sydney Fred, Joejoe Wallamas, Rex Yallon, Mark Piti and Ishmael Balkawa.
The pressure resulted in Rop crashing over for a try to get his side out to an 8-6 lead. Muruks hooker Jerry Teme snuck over for the Muruks to take back the lead at 10-8.
But that was short-lived as Wesser Tenza bagged an opportunistic four-pointer off a Muruks fumble.
Tigers centre David Lapua put the icing on the cake with try in the 77th minute. Lae Tigers 18 (Junior Rop, Anderson Benford , Wessar Tenza tries, Jason Missian con, 2 Pen) Mendi Muruks 10 (Adam Korave, Jerry Teme tries, Robert Shix pen) HT: 6-4 (Muruks) at Lae Rugby League Ground. The National
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