Tigers Take Home Me­lane­sian Cup

mailife - - Contents - Words and photo by MELA TUILEVUKA

LAE Snax Tigers took the Me­lane­sian Cup back to Pa­pua New Guinea af­ter beat­ing the Nadi Avi­a­tors 40-4 last week at Lawaqa Park. Nadi Avi­a­tors coach, Vela Tawake said they had a lot to learn from their last game of the sea­son, “con­sid­er­ing the mis­takes we made, forced mis­takes and not once did we com­plete a set.” Tawake added that the Lae Tigers cap­i­talised on their mis­takes as the Nadi team had 16 drop balls dur­ing the match. “The match was a huge learn­ing curve for us and we will just have to see where we go from here.” The game was a big les­son for them and they could not point a fin­ger or blame any­body, he said Be­fore the Me­lane­sian Cup Cham­pi­ons Lae Snax Tigers re­turned to PNG, an elated Coach Stan­ley Tepend said the team’s win had to be cred­ited to their hard work. “I told the boys that we should start off strong and be­cause our fit­ness level was up to stan­dard, they man­aged to win con­vinc­ingly,” Tepend said. Re­count­ing the team’s per­for­mance, Tepend said they had stuck in the first 10 min­utes of the first half but came back strong, set­tling with three con­verted tries to lead with 18 points at half time. He said the Avi­a­tors had been strong in de­fence against the Tigers in the first half but could not main­tain the grip in the re­main­ing min­utes of the game. “The Avi­a­tors are a good side, they just got to work on their ba­sics and fit­ness. The big boys in the Avi­a­tors team were re­ally good,” he said. He added the Avi­a­tors had a team dom­i­nated by other teams in Fiji Rugby League and some were even NRL class play­ers who had played in the pre­vi­ous Me­lane­sian Cup chal­lenge in 2016 against Rabaul Gurias.

LAE Snax Tigers af­ter win­ning the Me­lane­sian Cup

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