The National- Thursday, February 3, 2011
THE famous Coca-Cola Ipatas off-season rugby league challenge for the 2011 season kicks off this weekend with a float planned for Lae.
The Ipatas Cup, while providing an excellent stage for exposing league talent from rural areas and urban settlements, was traditionally been used as a selection trial for Enga’s inter-city cup flagship, Enga Mioks.
For the first time, four teams from the Niugini Islands will take part while Madang are all set to give a go after missing out for the last five years.
Kainantu have also confirmed participation while hosts Lae have confirmed with six teams and teams coming from Ramu are all ready to showcase their talents.
Sixteen teams have confirmed participation with the winners advancing to next stage of the lucrative tournament.
Dubbed as one of the richest off-season leagues, CCIC general secretary Frank Rai confirmed that the event would start today with the Ipatas Cup paraded around the city and games begining tomorrow.
The official launching will be held at the Melanesian Hotel where sponsors and patron of the event Enga Governor Peter Ipatas will officially launch the 2011 season.
Rai confirmed that for the first time the New Guinea Islands would be represented by teams from Hoskins, Kimbe and Bialla.