FIVE-EIGHTH Joshua Lau steered Lae Tigers to a 48-20 win over Mt Hagen Eagles in round one of the Digicel Cup in the Morobe capital on Sunday.Tigers vice-captain Roderick Tai opened the scoring with a try, the first of his double, but Lau missed the conversion. The Eagles were quiet in the opening minutes but they managed to draw level through winger Moses Tali who scored on the left edge.Tigers captain and prop Junior Rop restored the Lae Biscuit Company-sponsored side’s lead with a try under the uprights and man of the match Lau added the extras.The hosts forced the visitors to defend in their red zone which allowed Rop to offload to Lau who crashed over for try and converted the extras for a 16-4 lead.
Lau backed it up with his second try after the Eagles fumbled possession while attempting to defuse a kick by Tigers debutant Jamie Mavoko. The five-eighth made sure of the conversion to extend the Tigers’ lead to 22-4. Mavoko crossed the line for the Stanley Tepend-coached side’s fifth try before interchange forward Nuabe Kuipa scored a try off a one-on-one strip by Fijian Tikiko Noke on Eagles No.6 Gary James.After halftime, James scored out wide and halfback Bernard Noel added the extras to trail 10-32 and the Eagles added another try through Benji Ben before Tai completed his double to give the Tigers a 36-14 lead.Tigers recruit Stanley Olo and Rop then scored a try each as Lau added the extras for a 48-14 scoreline.Moments from fulltime, former SP Hunters prop Henry Wan crossed over for a consolation try for the Eagles.
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