THE Kokopo Gurias have locked in a trial match against the Canterbury Bulldogs early next year as part of their preparations for the 2014 Digicel Cup.
The game expected to feature at least six Bulldogs NRL players, is slated for February 22 at Belmore, Sydney.
The trip to cost about K150,000 comes on the back of a successful short tour of the Far North Queensland this year which the Gurias used to launch their 2013 Digicel Cup campaign.
The Gurias in Cairns upset Intrust Super Cup side Northern Pride 29-22, a feeder club to North Queensland Cowboys, and proved too powerful for the James Cook University Saints, caning them 54-16 in Townsville on the two-match tour.
Next year the Gurias have now raised the bar, taking on the Bulldogs in a game that has a huge potential of exposing their players for possible engagement by the NRL side or other Australian clubs.
Fund-raising for the trial against Bulldogs starts next month with a dinner at the Kokopo Village Resort on December 7 where they are anticipating good support from Gurias fans and other East New Britain-based or connected corporate entities.
Promotions for the dinner has started with press advertisements in the daily newspapers, local radio stations and other selected avenues.
Tables are being sold at K5,000 each for 10 persons and if all the anticipated 40 are taken, that would easily land organisers the projected K200,000.
However, considering expenses the fund raising committee hopes to make K130,000.
Fund-raising committee member John Kianimbil, who is also the Agmark marketing manager, said yesterday that details of a supporters’ package, organized in collaboration with Air Niugini, will be released at a time convenient to the national airline.
But what is immediately available at the dinner are raffle tickets for two on the trip which includes accommodation, airline tickets and game passes to Belmore oval.
Asked about how Gurias managed to secure such an exciting opportunity against a reputable rugby league club such as Bulldogs, Kianimbil said they had a received an invitation through a senior staff at Agmark, Kevin Wright who has connections with the club.
One PNG/ The National