By Michael Philip
It was without any notice but the young gun Five-Eight from Tavui in East New Britain Province, Wesley Batari slightly join the Southern Highlands Franchise Team, The Mendi Muruks two weeks ago for the start of the 2020 Digicel Cup campaign.
The decision by the young five-eight was the only option for him to venture into his Rugby League Career as a young rising star Five-Eight. Batari who played for the Gurias last year wearing the number 6 Jersy alongside his half-back Who is also now leading the rampaging Hela Wigmen, Solomon Pokare. Last year Batari was spotted by the PNGNRL and was put on a spotlight for his chance to join the Hunters and The PNG Kumuls due to its own style of playing rugby.
HELA Wigmen coach Charlie Wabo says the inclusion of former SP Hunters centre Noel Zeming as the Digicel Cup team’s trainer has helped get the best out of his players.
Last year’s runners-up Wigmen and defending champions Lae Tigers are the only unbeaten sides this season.
Former Kumuls rake Wabo told The National yesterday that Zeming, who played two tests for Papua New Guinea, had fit in well and pushed the players at training every week.
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
The Central Dabaris Rugby League take down the Gulf Isou 18-6 in the final match for today, Round 1 of the Digicel Cup 2020.
Grab your tickets at the gate for tomorrow's matches at the Sir John Guise Stadium and the Lae Rugby League oval!
The Agmark Gurias have defeated the Wamp Nga Mt. Hagen Eagles in the 1st of the Digicel Cup games for 2020 at the Sir John Guise Stadium. The Gurias won 30 - 10.
THE Digicel Cup is set to kick off next month with twelve teams confirmed to compete in the country’s premier rugby league competiton.
According to the season draw, the competition will have 18 rounds of home-and-away matches played in nine centres across the country.
The teams participating this year are the Port Moresby Vipers, Central Dabaris, Gulf Isou, Lae Tigers, Rabaul Gurias, Kimbe Cutters, Goroka Lahanis, Waghi Tumbe, Mt Hagen Eagles, Enga Mioks, Mendi Muruks and Hela Wigmen.
Papua New Guinea Digicel Cup Competition is a semi-professional Rugby League tournament in PNG. The major sponsor is the Mobile carrier Digicel PNG Ltd. There twelve teams that participate in this tournament that runs from March - September annually. These are :
Gulf Isou - Team from the Gulf Province but based in Port Moresby.
Central Dabaris - This is a team from Central Province but based in Port Moresby.
Rabaul Gurias - This is a team from the East New Britain Province and based in Kokopo
Lae Snacks Tigers - This is a team from the Morobe Province. They are based in Lae.
Waghi Tumbes - This is a team from Jiwaka Province- The team is based in Minj.
Mt Hagen Eagles - A rugby league team from Western High Provinces- Based in Mt Hagen.
Goroka Lahanis - This team represents the Eastern Highlands Province- Based in Goroka.
Mendi Muruks - A rugby League Team from Southern Highlands- Based in Mendi.
Hela Wigmen - Rugby league team from Hela Province but based in Port Moresby
Port Moresby Vipers - A team from Port Moresby, Based in Port Moresby
Kimber Cutters - A rugby league team from West New Britain Province. Based in Kimbe
Enga Mioks - Rugby League Team from Enga. Based in Wabag.
The Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) has announced the format in which the finals of the 2019 Digicel Cup will be played starting this weekend.
Manager of the PNGNRLC Mr. Stanley Hondina says, due to the competition expanding to have 12 franchises this season, the top six finals format adopted from the Queensland Rugby League Intrust Super Cup (QRL ISC) will be used.
The top six teams to play in the 2019 Digicel Cup Finals Series include; the minor premiers, Lae Snax Tigers, Jiwaka Provincial Government (JPG) Whagi Tumbe, Agmark Rabaul Gurias, Bintangor Goroka Lahanis, Wamp Nga Mt. Hagen Eagles and the Kroton Hela Wigmen.
Returning to the Papua New Guinea National Rugby League competition, the Digicel Cup, after a two year suspension, the Mt Hagen Eagles have shown that they will be a force to reckon with in 2019 after they defeated the defending Premiers, the Goroka Lahanis 8 – 6 in Hagen.
ENGA Mioks captain Supa Kokote, pictured, earned his side valuable two-points for the competition leaders as they edged the Hela Wigmen 18-14 in their round six fixture at the National Football Stadium yesterday.
Kokote with his man-of-the-match performance put his body on the line in defence and attack and made several telling breaks to contribute to the visiting side’s sixth consecutive victory of the Digicel Cup 2018 season.
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