Gurias face Tumbe


THE Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) says the Digicel Cup playoffs are set with this weekend’s elimination finals for four of the top-six teams.
PNGNRLC manager Ora Gairo told The National yesterday that the finals followed the McIntyre system of the top-eight teams used in Australia with the format tailored to the top-six clubs in the Digicel Cup. “We are using the McIntyre system used by the National Rugby League (in Australia) and the Intrust Super Cup in Queensland,” he said.
“The system will see that the sixth team (Rabaul Gurias) play the third (Waghi Tumbe) while the fourth (Port Moresby Vipers) play fifth (Hela Wigmen) in the elimination finals.”
The format will see winners of the elimination finals advance to next Sunday’s minor semifinal while the top-two teams in Lae Tigers and Mendi Muruks meet in the major semifinal.
The winner of the major semifinal progresses to the Sept 12 grand final while the loser plays the winner of the minor semifinal in the Sept 5 preliminary final.
Meanwhile, Gairo said the crowd capacity for elimination finals would increase under strict Coronavirus protocols at Port Moresby’s Oil Search National Football Stadium.
“We are increasing the crowd capacity for the finals with masks to be worn at all times,” the competition manager said.
“The top-six teams have to play in the form they are in with more disciplined and entertaining football which the fans want to watch.”
Week one of the finals kicks off on Sunday with the sixth-placed Gurias facing in-form Waghi Tumbe and the surging Port Moresby Vipers meeting reigning champions Hela Wigmen.