The National, Friday, June 3rd 2011
THEY were enemies on the battle field representing different franchise in the PNG’s premier rugby league competition, the Digicel Cup.
But now they have joined forces to carry their home provincial flag by signing on with the Kongo Coffee Simbu Warriors recently and for the first time in their rugby league career, Thomas Ninkama, Andrew Baine and Mai Tom will line up with the Warriors to face off with the Port Moresby Stop N Shop Vipers at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby on Sunday.
Ninkama is a former Viper but due to work commitments he has not played for a while Tom and Baine left Mioks and Muruks to join Warriors.
Ninkama is based in Port Moresby but will be flown to all Warriors games while Tom and Baine are with the team in Kundiawa.
Warriors chairman Jerry Kapka confirmed signing of the three a fortnight ago.
“We are happy that they have finally come back home to play for their province.
“The Warriors players do not play for the money or the lucrative package on offer by other franchises but they play because of the pride they have for their province and that is something different from the other players,” Kapka said.
The chairman said the game against the Lahanis was their first game and they should improve in this game against the Vipers.
The Warriors were weary of the Vipers at at home.
“Vipers have always been a very strong team and they will be stronger at home so we will be expecting a very tough game,” he said.
This should be an entertaining feast of football, as Warriors, coming off a 28-20 defeat at the hands of current champions Bintangor Goroka Lahanis will be out to stamp their mark in Port Moresby.