Top Of The Table Clash

Frontrunners in the Digicel Cup race, PRK Mendi Muruks will face second placed Agmark Rabaul Gurias tomorrow, 6th August to kickoff Round 14 at the Kalabond Oval in Kokopo.

While both teams have remained consistent in their winning ways for the majority of the rounds, this year Muruks are looking to upset Gurias on their home turf.

According to local rugby league analysts, tomorrow's top-of-the-table blockbuster fits the bill for a sneak preview to the September grand final.
While it’s a Gurias home game, Muruks have a better for and against striking rate, winning most of their games with over the 30 points margin, and could start as favourites.

In terms of class, experience and game management, both teams are equally matched. However in saying that Muruks forward pack is slightly heavy and robust which could undermine the Gurias counterattack. 

The Roderick Puname coached side boasts a star-studded outfit that will feature a number of ex-Lae Tigers in Ismael Balkawa, Casey Dickson and Joe Joe Wallames in the middle forward while Charlie Simon will partner Wesley Batari at the halves.

Muruks look strong on the edges with centre-pairing Levai Andrew and Clant Lama, while trying scoring freak Leon Undupia will be on left wing. 

On counter, Gurias big men up front in Steven Bruno, Koso Badi, Isaac Patrick and Francis Takai will have their work cut out for them while the onus is on veteran star halfback, Ase Boas and five-eight Saki Peter to control and direct play from the middle with good kicking tactics to wear out their heavier opponents.

Gurias also welcomes back try-scoring machine, Dominic Anis from injury alongside his centre partner Joe Frank “the tank”, who is ready to cause some problem for Muruks on the left edge.

A win by Muruks could consolidate their run for minor premiership honors with 4 rounds remaining. However, a Gurias win puts them back on equal points tally at 22 all which will be then decided by the for and against.

A bumper crowd is expected at the famous Kalabond oval tomorrow to watch this traditional intercity top-of-the-table archrival from 2pm.

Across the border, Kimbe Cutters hosts Central Dabaris at the Peter Humpreys Oval in Kimbe.

In Sunday’s doubleheader, EPG Mioks plays JPG Tumbe and Lae Snax Tigers host WN Mt.Hagen Eagles in Lae. 
In Port Moresby, PRK Gulf Isou meets Bintangor Goroka Lahanis, and Kroton Hela Wigmen clash with Moni Plus NCDC Vipers in the main game.

Terry Longbut