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Mioks tamed Tigers to secure Grand Final spot

After a seat-gripping 80 minutes contest between the Major Semi-Finalists, Lae Snax Tigers and EPG Mioks at the Santos National football stadium on Sunday (20th August), the undefeated Mioks edged out Tigers with a 6-4 victory to secure the 2023 Digicel-ExxonMobil Cup Grand Final spot.

The first half of the game was a battle of pure strength and physicality, as the Mioks and the Tigers left everything on the field. Strong defense from both sides created no gaps for the two teams to score a try for the entire 40 minutes.

Mioks scored a try after seven minutes into the second half. The kicker failed to slot the conversion. The Tigers struck back by scoring a try five minutes later, but the conversion was unsuccessful, leaving the scores at 4 points apiece.

The arm-wrestle continued for the remaining minutes and with the support from the fans, both teams tried to open up the game, but they defended their lines relentlessly. Mioks’ five-eight Garry James kicked a penalty goal that decided the fate of the game, as they walked away with a 6-4 triumph and marched to the decider.

Mioks Coach Billy Gau expressed that this was the kind of score he had expected from a strong team like the Tigers, but he knew his team would win.

“We have expected this kind of score-line, as it is the finals. We have played the Tigers twice before this game and had defeated them, so we knew the Tigers would be bringing a tough game, but we knew that we would win,” Coach Gau said.

“We are prepared for the finals. We will use the first week to rest our players and do light drills. Then next week, we will work on our defense, and also on certain areas that the boys need improvement on,” he added.

The Minor Premiers have had an incredible and historic season this year by winning 15 games, having one draw, and winning the major final without tasting any defeat. What an outstanding feat.

Tigers have one more chance left and will meet the Goroka Lahanis next week in the Preliminary Final. The winner of this match will go on to meet the Mioks in the Grand Final.

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