Teams anticipate tough challenge in Popondetta nines

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The National, Friday February 7th, 2014

 By JACK AMI

NEWCOMERS Royals and Buna clash in round 13 of Popondetta Rugby League Nines tournament on Sunday.

Royals are making a comeback to the local league arena after a good recruitment drive in the 9s tournament and likely to cause problems for opposing teams. The team is supported by International Education Agency (Popondetta International School) principal and former Goroka Lahanis five-eighth Kenneth Liwayong as the head coach with assistance from Benson Tutuna and Lawrence Suto.

Coach Liwayong will heavily rely on Lukas Suto, Steven Bonga and Freddy Kuman to lead the pack.

Youths from the World War 2 beach head of Buna and Sananada are filtered with local talents like  John Milton and Humphrey Emimae. In the early fixtures M4M Bulldogs (1) takes on Medics. Bulldogs (2) plays Sorovi.

 Sangi Raiders face competition leaders NRD Sauga Warriors while Hoppl Tigers are up against Bulldogs (1). The 10 teams are all determined to secure the top four spots with the semi final scheduled for the end of February and grand final in March.

The major sponsor of the Nines tournament is Oro Governor Garry Juffa (pictured) who has allocated K10,000 for prizes. Support has also come from National Rice Distributors Ltd, Digicel and IEA in kind.

President Anko Vamage thanked Oro Governor Juffa for his continued support and extended the same to support sponsors NRD, Digicel and IEA.