The National, Wednesday 5th June 2013
THE Papua New Guinea National Rugby League (PNGNRL) has heavily penalised 11 players and the franchise owners of Digicel Cup teams Lae Tigers and Gulf Isapea for a brawl in last Sunday’s game.
The Lae-based Tigers and their Port Moresby counterparts the Isapea were each fined K20,000.
This follows an all-in brawl that led to two players being sent-off and the match abandoned five minutes from time in Round 8 at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby on Sunday.
This is a strong response by the Digicel Cup judiciary in their effort to ensure there is a standard maintained in the high profile competition.
Digicel Cup general manager Hubert Warupi in a statement said that what happened was a sad day for the competition in 2013.
“The competition has suffered tremendously from negative reporting from the media and comments from stakeholders.
As a result the matter has gone before the PNGNRL Judiciary who met to reviewed the incident and have applied charges where necessary,” Warupi said.
He further stated that the judiciary had since decided to penalise 11 eleven players for their part in brawl.
The sanctions correspond to two separate incidents in the same match.
Tigers Atte Bina Wabo, George Benson and Isapea’s Philip Kumiye and Junior Belo were each given 12-week suspensions for their role in instigating and continuing the fighting.
This has effectively ended their easons unless their teams make it to the second week of the playoffs in September.
Tigers Mogi Wei Junior, Willie Minoga and Isapea’s Lawrence Tu’u were rubbed out for eight-weeks which will see them return in Round 17.
Tigers Charlie Phillip, Rolly Matalau and Isapea’s Jason Koivi and Pipi Kilori were given four weeks each.
Warupi explained that the fine on the franchises was for not displaying sufficient measures from team officials and management to control the violence and aggression shown on the field.
In addition to the financial and player sanctions, the Tigers were not given competition points (2) despite leading 26-16 prior to the premature ending of the game – which sees them drop to second place.