Digicel Cup on bye

There will be no Digicel Cup game this weekend with all teams on bye.

Competition manager for PNG NRLC, Stanley Hondina, said this was to allow the eight franchise coaches, assistant coaches and head trainers to attend a course in Port Moresby that started today and will end on Sunday.

The bye is in line with the PNGRFL calendar, which includes the SP Hunters.

He said Australian NRL development officers David Westley and Paul Hamson are facilitating the course at the National Football Stadium.

Both facilitators are NRL certified and courses conducted will be of NRL standard.

“There will be another course at season’s end when the coaches and their staff will be assessed and accredited on par with NRL level,” said Hondina.

“David Westley will give updates on the International Games Coach (IGC) manual while Paul Hamson will provide skills on strength and conditioning.

“We have invited the coaches, assistant coaches and the head trainers of the eight franchises taking part in this year’s Digicel Cup competition to participate,” he added.

The course will cover aspects on conducting tests on players, speed, agility and conditioning and sessions in the gym on specific strengths for players.

Hondina said the course is part of the PNGRFL strategy in capacity building and is being conducted in collaboration with Australia NRL in PNG.

“The skills and updates they get after this weekend will be invaluable for their teams and franchises as the season progresses. This should raise the levels and standards of the game played at the semi-professional Digicel Cup level, especially the skills levels and developing training plans.

“These are all done on the strategies taken by PNG-NRLC in collaboration with PNGRFL and NRL (PNG) to improve the skills and management of rugby league at the semi- professional level,” said Hondina.

He said 25 participants are attending the three-day course.

Troy Taule