Hunters team up

The National,Thursday June 16th, 2016

RUGBY league takes top billing this weekend in Port Moresby, with the Papua New Guinea Hunters taking on the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the Queensland Cup’s round 15 fixture, while in the Digicel Cup, the Vipers host the Mendi Muruks in their round 10 fixture.
Last week, soccer had front stage with the Nations Cup final between PNG and New Zealand taking the spotlight off rugby league.
A packed Sir John Guise Stadium was testament to that, as the Hunters beat the Souths Logan Magpies in front of a near empty National Football Stadium. Both  league fixtures will take place on Sunday and have been put on the same billing for the first time this season, which should see the NFS attract a decent crowd.
The PNG Rugby Football League and PNG NRL agreed to stage the Digicel Cup match at 12.30pm  as  the curtain-raiser for the Hunters-Seagulls clash at 3pm. The two matches will be preceded by a PNGRFL Under-20 development squad match at 11am.
PNGNRL chairman Sudhir Guru confirmed the schedule after reaching an agreement with PNGRFL chief executive officer Bob Cutmore and the NFS management. Guru said staging the matches together made more sense and would attract a bigger crowd, who would be getting a Q-Cup match as well as a Digicel Cup game at the same venue.
The Digicel Cup and Hunters have agreed to a split of the gate takings, with the Hunters taking the bigger percentage.
Guru said previous Vipers games were played at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, which was a good alternative to the NFS and the SJGS, but was not ideal, given the venue was still a construction site and yet to be completed.
The success of Sunday’s clashes at the NFS could see more collaboration between the two competitions and provide a platform for Digicel Cup teams to perform in front of Hunters and Kumuls coach Michael Marum and his staff.
In the other major clashes of the Digicel Cup this weekend, the unbeaten competition leaders Lae Tigers host the Hela Wigmen in Lae, while in Mt Hagen, the Eagles take on the visiting Agmark Gurias.
In Wabag, the Enga Mioks face the Gulf Isapea and the Goroka Lahanis scrap with the Simbu Lions in what could be a battle for the wooden spoon.