The National, Thursday July 4th, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
THE Digicel Cup judiciary has cut down sanctions on players not directly involved in the Round 8 brawl between the Lae Tigers and the Gulf Isapea at the Lloyd Robson Oval.
PNG National Rugby League general manager Hubert Warupi yesterday confirmed that a number of players from both sides had their suspensions reduced following a report from the appeals committee.
“The judicial committee has acted on a review of the game that there were only a few instigators of the melee. Those not directly involved have been given a reprieve,” he said.
Warupi said this would now see all players except for Tigers halfback Ate Bine Wabo and Isapea five-eighth Junior Belo – serving out the remaining four weeks of their eight-week suspensions – returning on Sunday.
For the Tigers, George Benson, Wei Mogi Jr, Willie Minoga, Charlie Philip and Rolly Matalau return back to the frey.
For the Isapea, Philip Kumiye, Lawrence Tu’u, Jason Koivi and Pipi Kilori return to bolster coach Nigel Hukula’s team.
Warupi clarified as well that the match points for that game were given to Lae. He said the match was never abandoned but called off by the referee.
“The PNG NRL management used its discretion as per the international law to give the game to the team leading at the time,” Warupi said.