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The Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC), the Digicel Cup competition, has had a two-week recess after Round 11 due to the polling period of the 2022
National General Elections.

Round 12 of the semi-professional rugby league competition will resume this weekend on 23rd and 24th July 2022.

On Saturday July 23rd, Round 12 matches will be played in Kimbe, Kokopo, and a double header in Port Moresby with the Minj games being relocated to Port Moresby.

In Kimbe the West New Britain Provincial Government Kimbe Cutters will take on PRK Mendi Muruks at 2pm at the Sir Peter Humphrey’s Oval.

In Kokopo at 2pm, the Agmark Rabaul Gurias will host the Enga Provincial Government backed Enga Mioks at the Gold Spot Kalabond Stadium.

And the double header in Port Moresby on Saturday will see the Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles do battle with Moni Plus NCDC Port Moresby Vipers at 12.30pm followed by the main match at 3pm as Jiwaka Provincial Waghi Tumbe will go up against PRK Gulf Isou.

On Sunday July 24th Round 12 will continue with a double header in Port Moresby. The match between the Kroton Hela Wigmen and Bintangor Goroka Lahanis will kick off the day at 12.30pm, with the main match next at 3pm as the Central Provincial Government sponsored Central Dabaris will play the Lae Snax Tigers.

PNGNRLC Competition Manager Mr Ora Gairo said that all twelve franchises have been advised also to complete all the required competition obligations as per the Participation Agreement before competition resumes again.

“Player transfers from franchises has been closed as of Round 6 – so any player moving to other franchises over this election period will not be entertained,” Mr Gairo added.

“There will be a coaches and referees refresher course on the latest Judiciary Code of Procedures with Queensland Cup Manager Dave Maiden in Port Moresby scheduled for the first week of August this year. This will be part of the ongoing capacity building process for the teams, coaches, referees and the match review officials,” Mr Gairo further added.

Spectators and corporate numbers in some venues have dropped dramatically especially in Port Moresby at the Santos National Football Stadium prior to the elections, however, the crowds have still been turning up in Wabag, Minj, Goroka and Lae. Normalcy should return after the elections with a good finals’ series heading into the climax of the 2022 season.

Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League Chief Executive Officer Mr Stanley Hondina said, ‘’We are excited to see the game resuming after a short recess and commend Ora and his staff, as well as Adrian Chow and his board, for the management of the game thus far.”

“Digicel Cup is the bridge between our amateur and professional footballers and continues to remain a strong one,” Mr Hondina said.

“We wish all the teams the very best in their second half of season 2022 as it resumes this weekend.”

In other development, the NRLC 5 Year Strategic Plan is about to be finalized and should kick into action starting 2023-2027 which should help the competition going forward with gaps identified after completion of online surveys and interviews conducted by the AusAID team and PNGRFL and NRL representatives.