The National, Friday 10th Febuary 2012
PORT Moresby Rugby Football League chairman Labi Amaiu said the Super 9s pre-season challenge will be held at the Sir John Guise Stadium at Waigani.
The challenge, which has attracted 24 teams will be held at the stadium over two days.
Amaiu said yesterday the decision to move the games to the stadium was to allow Hekari United FC to use the PRL to host their game against Gigira Laitepo Central Coast in the National Soccer League challenge tomorrow.
However, the games will return to the Port Moresby rugby league grounds on Sunday.
Amaiu said POMRFL board would sponsor K10,000 in prize money while Digicel PNG would provide merchandise for the winning teams.
He said the board had committed K10,000 for the event after the Mineral Resources Development Company failed to respond to it request for the sponsorship of the Super 9s challenge.
Amaiu said MRDC had been one of the great supporters of the POMRFL initiatives but will not support POMRFL this year due to economic reasons.
The Super 9s was initially set for last Sunday but poor response from teams to register and complete necessary requirements prompted the league to defer it this week.
The challenge will be played over two days with the grand final on Monday afternoon
The league’s 14 clubs, except Magani and visiting teams from around the city’s offseason as well as teams from Rigo & Aroma Coast in the Central Province will be vying for the top honors.
PRL Football Manager Meke Maino confirmed the number of teams stating that Bishop Brothers Engineering Hawks were the first to register two teams as Hawks White & Hawks Green while Kawaso Defence have also registered two teams with their traditional names of Defence Gold & Defence Green.
The rest of the POMRFL clubs have registered a team each while the visiting teams are Morata Bullets, Manus Eagles, Gabone Kiliwana, MK Brothers, Kai Marshalls, Southern Blacks, 7 Mile Jets, Diwai and a Central select side called Team Central.
The two reigning champions Defence Gold and PRK Souths were the joint champions from last year and are expected to dominate again. The Aroma Coast side MK Brothers has toughened up from the recent Regional and Aroma Coast 9s tournaments and will no doubt give the city teams a hard time. Rigo team Gabone Kiliwana, Kai Marshalls and Southern Blacks took part in the 2011 tournament and no doubt will give this year’s tournament a shake-up.
Debutants Morata Bullets, 7 Mile Jets, Manus Eagles, and Diwai must not be underestimated as they are rumored to be fresh from the current off-season games played around the city.
Meanwhile, the Digicel PNG will be making their presentation to POMRFL Board today on their sponsorship. The actual games will start at 9.00am on Sunday. Any team that does not confirm their K250 team entry fee will not be allowed to take part. The other important requirement are that the players list of 20 must have the individual player’s signature beside his name to confirm his consent, and that all teams’ management are to ensure player medical checks are fully completed.
Also a referees briefing will take place simultaneously on Sunday morning.
In other rugby league related stories, POMRFL Referee Coordinator Joe Peregua urged all referees in full attendance on Sunday.
He said the referees should by now fit and pay their K40 registration fee to be part of the referees association.