PNGNRL announces draw for 2021 season


THE draw for the upcoming Digicel Cup season has been released with the Rabaul Gurias and Waghi Tumbe opening the campaign at Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday.
The 12-team competition consists of 16 rounds with the finals to be held in September.
Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League chief executive and acting PNG National Rugby League competition manager Stanley Hondina said the first four rounds of the competition would be played at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium and the Lae Rugby League Ground only.
He said one of National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning’s conditions was to see matches played without crowds at both venues in the first four rounds.
“The controller gave the official clearance this morning (Friday) for the competition to start,” he said.
“We are happy that the 2021 season will finally kick off, but our biggest challenge now is to strictly follow the Covid-19 measures so that we complete the season successfully.”
Hondina said the current Covid-19 situation in the country was different from last year.
He urged all franchises to take heed of the measures and uphold the trust given by the relevant authorities.
“We were given approval because the authorities had confidence that we will meet the conditions and we will adhere to the safety measures,” Hondina said.
“Last year, there were less Covid-19 cases.
“This year, there are more than 10,000 cases. “So all franchises must not be complacent and they must take the safety measures seriously.
“We must work together so that our game is played and we can finish the season well.” Fixtures: Sat, May 8 — Gurias v Tumbe (Port Moresby), Port Moresby Vipers v Kimbe Cutters (Port Moresby); Sunday May 9 —Hela Wigmen v Goroka Lahanis (Port Moresby), Gulf Isou v Central Dabaris (Port Moresby), Lae Tigers v Mt Hagen Eagles (Lae), Enga Mioks v Mendi Muruks (Lae).