December 21, 2017

Two more teams join PNG's Semi Professional Rugby League Competition Digicel Cup

Gulf Isou and Simbu Warriors have been admitted to the 2018 Digicel Cup competition. The two franchises join the current eight teams to make the 2018 Digicel Cup competition to 10 teams.
PNG National Rugby League Competition (PNG-NRLC) chairman Adrian Chow said yesterday the two new franchises had the strongest bids.
“All applications were assessed on five main criteria – governance and management structures, venue, financial backing, linkages to affiliated leagues in their areas and the franchise fitting into the overall plan and strategies of the PNG National Rugby League competition.
“Gulf Isou and Simbu Warriors met these requirements and therefore their bid to be a part of the 2018 Digicel Cup competition was successful,” Chow said.
He said 16 applications were received including the eight existing teams. The six teams whose applications were unsuccessful included Gulf Isapea, Central Lakatois, Eastern Highlands Lahanis, Mt Hagen Eagles, Mt Hagen Keradoa and Madang Kwilas.
“These teams did not meet the requirements and criteria set out however we have replied to these teams individually and will help and guide them so they have a better chance in making the 2019 competition,” Chow said. “Also two teams from one province should put their resources together and make one bid to enter the competition,” he added.
The chairman stressed that the Digicel Cup has a strong stance against violence in rugby league.
“All 10 teams participating are aware of the standards they need to adhere to with zero tolerance on violence,” Chow said.
“And this includes every member of the franchise whether player, official and or supporters. The consequences can be severe,” he said.
The 10 franchises to participate in 2018 Digicel Cup competition are Lae Snax Tigers, Rabaul Agmark Gurias, Kroton Hela Wigmen, PRK Mendi Muruks, Waghi Tumbes, NCDC Vipers, Bintangor Goroka Lahanis, EPG Enga Mioks, Gulf Isou and SPG Simbu Warriors.
PNGNRLC Manager Stanley Hondina said all franchises will have their participation agreements signed by mid-January. “We will hold a meeting with all franchises around this time to inform them the schedules and other requirements expected of them during the season.
The 2018 Digicel Cup competition is scheduled to kick off on Sunday March 25, 2018.