Tepend who has brought up the profile of Lae Snax Tigers in the Digicel Cup in his reign as the head coach for the Lae franchise said, “We got to go hard in this game and here at the training that must be shown as they will not be coming down easy on us.”
“But most of these Australians do not know what is like here and we are here. They will have to catch a plane to come down and meet us and we’ve got to give our hundred and ten percent shot in the game,” Tepend said this when explaining to players on certain drills during their training run yesterday at the Port Moresby International School in East Boroko, Port Moresby.
With bulk of the players including the management of the team are all on their debut including head coach Tepend; it will certainly be a tough battle ahead. However the former Kumuls five eight still believes his troops can deliver and anything is possible.
Timing can be another factor but for Tepend, he knows very well that to go up against one of the best rugby league teams in the World, five days would not be enough but he is putting everything he has to ensure players gel well with each and the team spirit is right before the game kicks off on Saturday at 7pm.
Tepend is most certain to start his team line up with the current Agmark Gurias halves combination of Watson Boas and Chris Jerry as it is known that star Lae Snax Tigers five eight Charlie Simon who has been named in the team is likely to be ruled out due to injury.
Simon who was watching on the side during the training run said he was disappointed that he just learned from the MRI scan at the Pacific International Hospital today that he had a strained calf muscles on both the outer and inner side of his left leg and is most likely to be ruled out.
“ I will be given till tomorrow to see if can be able to play but I might not risk it as if I do, it could cost my entire career,” the young five eight said.
Other notable players Tepend will use for his starting lineup against the Australians would be Noel Joel as the first choice hooker, Philemon Kimisive on another wing while workaholic and Tigers captain Sydney Fred, David Loko and TNA Lions second rower Bradley Brawa, Sebastian Pandia, Benjamin Hetra and National Confederation select player Samuel Amis Maniat are possible candidates for the starting pack.
Meanwhile team manager Jacob Anga said regarding Simon’s injury, he will not make any comments as that will be decided once he sits down with the Tepend to decide.
“I am not making any comments right now. Stan and I need to sit down first and we will do a formal release on that but in saying that it could be a very unfortunate case if he is not allowed to play but he will still be part of the team,” Anga said.
“In any event if we confirm that things are not okay for him to take the field we will make it formal once we sit down and discuss with the coach,” Anga said.
The PNG Prime Minister’s XIII team is Albert Patak, Jason Missian, Justin Olam, Enoch Siune, Philimon Kimisive, Chirs Jerry, Watson Boas, Benjamin Hetra, Noel Joel, Sydney Fred, David Loko, Bradley Brawa, Sasmuel Amis Maniat, Sebastian Pandia, Andrew Ipi, Danny Pai, Moses Meninga, Isaac Mel, Moses Meninga, Junior Ray and Charlie Simon.