The National, Thursday July 25th, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
AS part of its preparation towards the Zones championship in September, Northern Zone rugby league will stage an inter-zone tournament in the birthplace of rugby league in the country, Wau.
The planned event in Bulolo district’s historical mining township would be held from Aug 10-12 featuring eight teams from Lae, Wau, Bulolo, Kainantu, Ramu and Madang, where their cream of the players will be selected into the Northern Zone squad.
Northern Zone league chairman and Lae rugby league president Russ Kaupa said apart from the matches played, two memorial shields would be presented on behalf of the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League to the Wau and Bulolo leagues presidents, in honour of the district’s contribution to the spread of the code, which was first played there almost 60 years ago by Australian alluvial gold miners during the gold rush era.
“We want the people of Wau and Bulolo to take ownership and be proud of their place in the game’s history. Northern Zone is going back to the roots of rugby league and we need the support from the people there,” Kaupa said yesterday in Port Moresby.
He said they were expecting PNGRFL chairman Don Fox, Minister for Sports and Pacific Games Justin Tkatchenko, vice-minister Labi Amaiu, Morobe Governor Kelly Naru and Deputy Opposition leader and Bulolo MP Sam Basil to be present during the opening.
Northern Zone selectors chairman and former LBC Lae Bombers workhorse prop Cedric Belo said preparations so far was going well with Lae as the biggest association in the region providing two teams, Lae city and Lae Country.
Lae city team: Eric Enaso, Romney Belepuna, Justin Mark, Romalus Mega, Bensley Kurakipa, Kevin Lami, William Teko, Gibson Meuro, Brian Steven, Jeremy Monimo, Livingstone Leo, Joseph Nikama, Varage Geno, Noel Kopaya, Philson Mokea, Junior Jerry, Andrew Wamil, Andrew Gandine Junior, Marlon Nick and Jerry Jonathan. Coach Ian Yopa..
Lae country: Anderson Ben, Paul Bare, Paul Robert, Bernard Lama, Benju Lama, Zero Ryan, Rex Hapeo, Noah Pingin, Junior Philip, Roger Kuk Jnr, Berom Junior, Hosea Lame, Abraham Mexico, Lee James, Frank Kagai, Issac Webb, Tracy Terence, Solomon Mai, Thomas Bal, Dido Blow. Coach John Milba.