Hopefuls expose talent

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday 19th of February, 2014

TWO players from the Agmark Gurias squad leaving today for a rugby league trial match on Saturday against Canterbury Bulldogs are on the NRL club’s radar for possible contracts.
The game is against the Bulldogs Under 20 side but opportunities that it presents for Gurias players to be exposed to the NRL club are enormous.
“We have two young guns (players) who will be closely watched by the Bulldogs,” Kevin Wright, a key organiser of the match said yesterday. “We hope they perform to their expectations and get an opportunity to return for a closer scrutiny by the Bulldogs,.”
He declined to name the players but said the squad was looking forward to the exposure which included a couple of coaching clinics to be run by the Bulldogs.  
The 25-member squad, which includes three on the coaching staff, was scheduled to depart Kokopo at 6am, arrive in Port Moresby at 9.30am before leaving in the afternoon for Brisbane and are expected to jet into Sydney by 9pm.
This is the second short tour of Australia following on from last year’s successful two-match trip to Far North Queensland when they beat Northern Pride 29-22 in Cairns and later James Cook University 54-16 in Townsville.
Wright said these trial matches are funded through sponsorships with this weekend’s trip getting financial props from Islands Petroleum, Kokopo Village Resort, Kavieng Hotel, RMI and Agmark.
It costs K150,000 to fund such an exercise but the Gurias believe it is a great opportunity to also prepare for the 2014 Digicel Cup season, scheduled to kick off on April 13.
Wright said they were fortunate to have a staunch Gurias supporter in Leo Badcock, who has strong links with the Bulldogs, and started the negotiations for this trip.
“Didn’t take much to get him to travel down and start talks with the Bulldogs management” Wright said.
“Then it was up then up to me to find the support to fund the team’s travels and make the arrangements.”
The game is scheduled to kick off at 5pm at Belmore Oval with entry free.