By MELTON PAIS
THE Central and the National Capital District legs of the Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup (CCIC) – Papua New Guinea’s largest offseason rugby league challenge — were launched in Port Moresby yesterday.
Sixteen NCD and eight Central teams will vie for the two gold passes on offer.
The NCD leg kicks off tomorrow and ends with the preliminary finals on Sunday. The Central leg starts on Dec 20 and ends with their preliminary finals on Dec 22.
The finalists of both legs will take to the field again on Dec 23 for a shot at the passes.
NCD CCIC coordinator Simon Maima yesterday welcomed the captains of the 24 teams at the launching of the tournament.
“I am thankful to the CCIC executives in the likes of patron and Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas, CCIC competition manager Sam Koi and chief executive Timothy Lepa for securing PNG Football Stadium for the teams in the NCD and Central legs,” Maima said.
“As usual, the two gold pass winners will receive K10000 that will help cover their costs at the Western End challenge in Goroka for the clash with the other gold pass winners.”
Maima said the CCIC board initially allowed for eight teams each from NCD and Central but the overwhelming interest in Port Moresby had prompted the organisers to increase the quota to 16.
“We have all the confidence that we will make this tournament a success but that only depends on your prompt participation and cooperation,” Maima told the team officials.
“We all need each other’s cooperation for the successful running of this tournament.”
Maima said last year’s NCD and Central gold pass winners 9-Mile Giants and Toks Mix Dogs were back to defend their titles.
He assured the teams that the matches would be run smoothly and fairly.
By MELTON PAIS