Goroka, Minj get approval


MINJ in Jiwaka and Goroka in Eastern Highlands will host this weekend’s Digicel Cup round-eight matches, says Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition manager Stanley Hondina.
And if both venues comply with the PNG Rugby Football League’s Banis Protocols, Kimbe in West New Britain will get the chance see their Cutters at home before the regular season ends.
Hondina said in a statement yesterday that the challenge was now on Minj and Goroka to deliver good quality rugby league games without compromising the protocols.
On Saturday, Waghi Tumbe host the Mt Hagen Eagles at John Ambane Oval and reigning premiers Lae Snax Tigers travel to Goroka to play the Lahanis at the National Sports Institute. Both games kick off at 2pm.
Ticket prices, points of sales and number of spectators will be made known in the next few days.
“I will be in Minj and Goroka to ensure that all protocols and games are managed well,” Hondina said.
“After assessing these venues, we will determine whether they are able to host one or two more games and consider giving Kimbe an opportunity in the remaining three rounds of our shortened season.” He congratulated the Rabaul Gurias management and Kalabond Oval staff in Kokopo for successfully hosting the first game outside Port Moresby and Lae last weekend.
“You and the people of East New Britain have done well and set the benchmark for other franchises and provinces to follow,” Hondina said.
He reminded all stakeholders, including franchise managements, officials and players, to continue to comply with the protocols.
“We are getting through trying and difficult circumstances, and you all should hold your heads up and be proud of what we have achieved so far,” Hondina said.
He said the kick-off times for the double-headers in Port Moresby and Lae would be 1pm and 3.15pm.
Hondina said they were yet to receive advice from the National Pandemic Controller’s Office and PNG Sports Foundation on whether to allow fans to attend matches.
“Until we hear receive notification, the no-spectators’ situation remains,” he said. Fixtures: Sat, Aug 29 — Waghi Tumbe v Mt Hagen Eagles; Sun, Aug 30 —Goroka Lahanis v Lae Tigers, Mendi Muruks v Gulf Isou, Enga Mioks v Kimbe Cutters, Hela Wigmen v Central Dabaris, Port Moresby Vipers v Rabaul Gurias