By TRAVERTZ MABONE
LAE Bombers are still in the dark over their participation in the semi-professional bemobile Cup with just a week before the the deadline.
President of the Lae Rugby League Rus Kaupa, who stood in for franchise owner Richard William at the bemobile Cup launch last week, said despite PNG National Rugby League (PNGNRL) extending the affiliation deadline a further week, the Bombers had still not paid the K90,000 affiliation fee. The bemobile Cup has been rescheduled to start early next month from its original April 25 kick-off. According to Kaupa, in a conversation with William, the franchise owner claimed that the payment for the Bombers had been made last Friday to the PNGNRL account. “Despite things being colourful for the club from the beginning, apparently the PNGNRL also has yet to confirm the club’s affiliation payment to their account,” Kaupa said after conversing with PNGNRL chairman Don Fox. He said, unfortunately, things were uncertain at this stage for both the Bombers and the PNGNRL as they were still not aware of what account the payment had been paid into. Attempts to contact William in Australia were unsuccessful. “But even though things aren’t quite in place as of yet, the Bombers are all in camp will be ready for kick-off,” Kaupa added. This season the Bombers have lost three players to the Mendi Muruks in Jackson Undi, Roy Tela and Amos Mini and veteran Jerry Kutz to the Simbu Warriors. The only experienced players tipped to lead the Bombers are Rus Kaupa Jr, who is the only player with the most match caps and Lawrence Goive, who will assist Kaupa Jr.
Kaupa added that five players had some bemobile Cup experience while the rest of the team were all newcomers.
He said the Bombers were not fazed by other high profile teams and had produced some of the country’s best players.
He said despite the team lacking size and experience, they would still be competitive in the new season.
“Still the team is in suspense but I would like to let our supporters know that we are preparing for the Cup and the Bombers will always have a team,” he said.
He has also extended a late appeal to any interested business houses in Lae and the 10 MPs of Morobe that in the event that funds are needed: “We want you to take ownership of the Morobe Bombers and put up your hands and be proud corporate sponsors.”