Greetings to all our rugby league family and welcome to our 27th edition of Fulltime Reserve, a weekly column to discuss all matters rugby league in our favourite newspaper The National.
The privilege to play in a finals series of an elite competition is the ultimate reward reserved only for the best teams who work hard all season.
The Digicel Cup grand final on Sunday between the Lae Snax Tigers and the Kroton Hela Wigmen promises to be entertaining.
The grand final will mark the conclusion of the third season since the PNG Rugby Football League made the decision to take over the PNG National Rugby League Competition in late 2017.
This decision was taken to address many years of ongoing and underlying management issues that threatened the integrity, viability and the survival of the national competition due to widespread violence at match venues and appalling game management standards.
The PNGRFL and the PNGNRLC have worked hard in the last three years to restructure the management of the competition and to further invest in key areas that sought to improve the quality and the standard of the competition.
Some of these initiatives include:
- The development and adoption of the PNGNRLC competition manuals and the franchise participation agreements which set out the rules, regulations and guidelines for the competition;
- The introduction of independent match management, match review and judicial processes and guidelines;
- The introduction of regular Coaching Accreditation, Certification and Updates for all team coaching officials in the pre-season and season proper with regular visits from the PNGRFL High Performance Teams;
- The investment in ongoing development programs and performance review processes for our referees and match officials both in the pre-season and during season;
- The investment in sporting technology, particularly in audio and visual technology for both match-day management and post-match review. These investments in technology have assisted our referees and match officials to adjudicate the matches and review their performances as well as assisting the respective team coaches with post-match stats and match-data for their use;
- The introduction of digital database for all our elite and development players and officials using the league-net system that allows their biodata, profiles and game stats updated and to be available online; and,
- The introduction of the competition awards night.
The above and other ongoing programmes are regularly being reviewed to continuously improve our competition.
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Until next week, may the grace, love and care of our Good Lord be with you.