The Lae Snax Tigers created history this afternoon at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby when they added yet another Digicel Cup title to the club’s winning history thus crushing the JPG Waghi Tumbe’s dreams of a historic Grand Final win.
The boys from Asa Sumba land came out in the first half with a mindset on winning and did not waste time in bagging the side’s only three tries in the first half which saw them walk away with their 4th championship title since entering the Digicel Cup in 2013.
3 minutes into the first half, the Tigers first try was scored by half-back Jerry Teme with a failed conversion by five-eight Jamie Mavoko thus opening the scoreline at 4 points to nil.
As the Tumbes looked into efforts to even up the scoreline, the Tigers through winger Max Vali scored their second try in the 13th minute with a successful conversion by Mavoko, bringing the score to 10 nil.
The Stanley Tepend coached side capitalized on their excellent set plays and ball handling with the forward packs making the hits through the Tumbe’s defense which saw their side scoring their last and final try of the 2021 season in the 17th minute through centre Lynol Molpoya.
The Waghi Tumbe came up fighting with a first grand final try 25 minutes into the first half by half-back Job Kar with a missed conversion locking in the points at 16 points to 4 in favor of the Lae Snax Tigers.
For the remaining minutes till half-time, it was a tussle between the oldies and the newbies as the young Waghi Tumbe side did all they could to close in on the gap thus were rewarded in the dying seconds of the first half, with a try by centre Valentine Wamdi and a successful conversion by David Joseph.
At half-time, the scores were locked in at 16 points to 10 with both sides unable to score further tries in the second half as the ball was tussled to and from each of the try lines.
In the end, it was the Tiger’s experience campaigners in the likes of Junior Rop, Rex Yallon and Roy Kela that put in the hard yards in ensuring that the defense line for the Tigers was dead set thus giving the Tumbe’s no opportunities to even the scoreline.
When the full-time siren went, the boys from the Lae Biscuit Sponsored side had the last big dance as they re-claimed the cup from last year’s cup holders, the Kroton Hela Wigmen.
This by far will be the Tiger’s highest winning scoreline compared to their 15-4 win over the same team in the 2019 Digicel Cup Grand Final.
The Tigers have won 2 other Grand Finals over the Agmark Rabaul Gurias in 2016 and 2017 with scores of 14-8 and 11-10 respectively.
Coach Tepend who was overjoyed at his team’s victory said that this year’s competition has been the most satisfying in that most of his boys left for Hunters duties however, he is so thankful for the boys that stayed who have worked hard towards achieving this premiership win.
“Most of the boys left for the Hunters however, I am happy with how the boys have worked hard to get this far in winning the premiership title.”
Tepend said overally, he is pleased with the boys’ performance this year and is looking forward to what next year will bring for the team.