Shorter season mulled

Hondina: Revised format an option for Digicel Cup this year

PAPUA New Guinea Rugby League Competition (PNGRLC) manager Stanley Hondina says a shorter Digicel Cup season is an option as teams remain “static” amid the nationwide State of Emergency (SOE).
The country’s premier rugby league competition was due to kick off on April 5 but the SOE, which was declared on March 22, had forced its indefinite deferral over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hondina told The National yesterday that despite June 2 being proposed for teams to resume training, the date was subject to SOE Controller David Manning’s approval.
“We have asked teams to remain static until after June 2,” he said.
“Teams can resume training only when the SOE is lifted. At the moment, we’re waiting to see how the Covid-19 situation goes and then we can consider further discussions about our options.
“We have had discussions with our sponsors and other stakeholders, including the teams, who are all on the same page as us.
“We will provide further advice depending on the developments surrounding the pandemic.”
Hondina said PNGNRLC had a number of proposed formats should the season be shortened.
But he said the proposed formats, and dates for kick-off and resumption of training were yet be confirmed due to the fluidity of the Covid-19 situation.
Meanwhile, following the cancellation of the Queensland Intrust Super Cup, the PNG Rugby Football League has given the nod for SP Hunters players to join Digicel Cup sides for the upcoming season.
The sport’s national governing body said it would allow the players to maintain their fitness in readiness for the new season next year.