PNGRFL CEO Reatau Rau said the 2019 ISC draws released yesterday were endorsed at the last CEOs meeting in Brisbane last month.
Rau stated the 12 home games include the Country week round. However, the venue for next year’s Country week game against Easts Tigers should be finalised by May.
The 14 team Intrust Super Cup 2019 competition kicks off on the weekend of March 9 and 10 with the SP Hunters playing Tweed Heads Seagulls away in Piggabeen Sports Complex in Brisbane.
“The 1st SP Hunters home game at NFS is on the following Sunday March 17 against Northern Pride,” Rau said. “The week after that on March 24 is another home game against Sunshine Coast Falcons,” he added.
Rau stated the annual Kokoda Cup against Burleigh Bears during the ANZAC round will be played on Thursday April 25 at Pizzey Park in Brisbane.
The Stan Joyce Cup played for against Redcliffe Dolphins since 2014 will see the Dolphins set out to retain the Cup when they host the SP Hunters at Dolphin Stadium in Round 12 on Saturday June 1.
“The 2nd match will be played in Round 22 on Sunday, August 25th, at the NFS in Port Moresby,” Rau said.
The annual Air Niugini / Kokoda Cup against Townsville Blackhawks will see two games next season.
“The 1st is in Port Moresby in Round 9 on Sunday, May 5th, when the SP Hunters will be out to retain the Cup since its inception in 2017,” he said.
The 2nd game will be played in Round 19 on Saturday, August 3rd, at the Jack Manski oval in Townsville.
Rau also revealed that the finals format has been changed from six teams to eight teams next season.
“The CEOs identified this move as a priority for all clubs in 2019,” Rau said.
Meantime, SP Hunters coach Michael Marum expressed satisfaction with the draws and the top eight final formats.