By Emmanuel Eralia
The mighty PRK Mendi Muruks have taken this year’s Digicel Cup competition by storm as they plotted 6/7 wins to sit on the second position. This is a great improvement compared to the past 6 seasons.
They are playing a more structured football and scoring good tries from set plays. If you are able to watch the highlight of their match against the Dabaris, you would see that.
Head Coach Rodrick Puname is a strict man of discipline; always promote young players and emphasis on a more structured way of playing. This is having a positive impact so far on the team.
FIVE-EIGHTH Joshua Lau steered Lae Tigers to a 48-20 win over Mt Hagen Eagles in round one of the Digicel Cup in the Morobe capital on Sunday.Tigers vice-captain Roderick Tai opened the scoring with a try, the first of his double, but Lau missed the conversion. The Eagles were quiet in the opening minutes but they managed to draw level through winger Moses Tali who scored on the left edge.Tigers captain and prop Junior Rop restored the Lae Biscuit Company-sponsored side’s lead with a try under the uprights and man of the match Lau added the extras.The hosts forced the visitors to defend in their red zone which allowed Rop to offload to Lau who crashed over for try and converted the extras for a 16-4 lead.
MENDI Muruks kicked off their season with a 16-12 win over Enga Mioks in round one of the Digicel Cup at the Lae Rugby League Ground on Sunday.Played behind closed doors due to the semi-professional competition’s Covid-19 measures, the match was slow and riddled with errors as both sides struggled to gain the ascendency.The Muruks opened the scoring with an unconverted try through Abraham Wallace before Yaweye Dikala added another four-pointer to push his side out to an 8-0 lead.But refusing to back down, the Mioks pack forced the match into an arm-wrestle and were reward with an unconverted Owen Walis try off a penalty.
The 2021 Digicel Cup Season scheduled for kick-off this weekend has been delayed by three (3) weeks to the weekend of May 29th, 2021. The decision was made at a special PNGNRLC Board meeting today.
PNGNRLC Chairman Adrian Chow in a statement issued today said the delay was due to members of one of the Digicel Cup teams testing positive for Covid-19 following routine tests undertaken on players and officials of the participating franchises teams.
Chairman Chow said the team underwent RTD Antigen tests this morning prior to their departure to Port Moresby in line with travel requirements put in place for all teams.
“The results of the tests received indicated that two (2) of the members tests results returned as “positive” whilst the rest of the members were cleared as “negative” for the covid-19 virus, Chow said. “The two (2) affected members were immediately isolated pending further investigations and testings whilst the rest of the team has been put into ‘bubble-isolation’ for the required 14 days”.
These are teh Digicel Cup Team Captains for year 2021
1. Central Dabaris - Adam Korave
2. Goroko Lahanis - Charlie Buka
3. Mendi Muruks - Wesa Tenza
4. Hagen Eagles. - Yambra Jul
5. Gulf Isou - Reiko Jimmy
6. Kimbe Cutters - Jah Hogan
7. Waghi Tumbes - Joe Frank
8. Enga Mioks. - Sani Lipu
9. Port Moresby Vipers - Thompson Teteh
10. Agmark Gurias - Ade Rami
11. Lae Snax Tigers - Butler Morris
12. Hela Wigmen - Valentine Culligan
THE draw for the upcoming Digicel Cup season has been released with the Rabaul Gurias and Waghi Tumbe opening the campaign at Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday.
The 12-team competition consists of 16 rounds with the finals to be held in September.
Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League chief executive and acting PNG National Rugby League competition manager Stanley Hondina said the first four rounds of the competition would be played at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium and the Lae Rugby League Ground only.
FORMER Papua New Guinea international and Hela Wigmen coach Charlie Wabo says he is optimistic about their title defence in the upcoming Digicel Cup season.
Despite losing a number of his premiership winners from last season, he said with the inclusion of a few rookies alongside their 10 existing players, the Wigmen were eager to retain the title.
“From our preparation and training, I’ve seen that the players look sharp and they are ready to defend the title,” Wabo said.
The 2020 Digicel Cup Premiers launched their 2021 title defense at the Koitaki Country Club on Friday 30th April 2021. The event coincided with the official announcement of the 35 men playing roster. “Having 7 of the 17 players in last year’s Digicel Cup grand final team in SP Hunters is one of the greatest highlights. It is a loss for the club but also good as we can keep the production line going” said Chairman Andy Hetra.
Hetra said, ‘’the team has done well this year with good local talents from Hela being drafted into pre-season that makes up a third of the team. We have signed up few talents from other centers to have the balance and depth to be competitive and we are happy with the playing stock we have’’.
TIGERS owner Ian Chow says Lae can host more Digicel Cup matches if the Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) wants to move games from Port Moresby over the lockdown.
“Digicel Cup matches draw big crowds to the Lae Rugby League Ground,” he said.
“But due to the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League’s Covid-19 protocols, we’ve been restricting attendance so far this season.
“Having said that, Lae is free from the Covid-19.
“We still have more fans who are eager to attend matches but sometimes don’t gain entry.
The round five of the Digicel Cup Competition in Port Moresby for this weekend will go ahead following an official approval letter from the Office of the Pandemic Controller David Manning.
The Competition will be hosted with the following strict measures;
1. No spectators at the Games
2. All Games to be broadcast for home viewing
3. Continue Stringent COVID-19 Protocols with added
measures for conduct of teams
4. Adhere to the Mandatory Mask Measures for POM
5. All POM based teams to be in closed camps for the
6. All special permission request for domestic travels for
outside team’s schedule to play in POM; and
7. Outside teams to adhere to strict fly in, fly out protocols
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