Jiwaka secures two spots at grand final

The Jiwakans’ ‘never say die’ attitude has secured them two spots in the 2024 grand final of the National Gaming Control Board Ipatas Cup.

Kulaka West and Kindeng Storms are fairly new in the competition but are determined to make history during game day this weekend at the Lae Rugby League oval. 

The 2024 NGCB Ipatas Cup grand final is set to be hosted at the Lae Rugby League Oval on Saturday, the 2nd of March, and Sunday, the 3rd of March.

The captains of the top four teams were present today at Lae League: Homeland Saints from Western Highlands, Prum Panthers from Enga and the two newbies from Jiwaka-Kulaka West and Kindeng Storms.

Kulaka West captain, Job Kar, thanked their sponsors for allowing them to showcase their skills and hopefully, advance to the next tier in rugby league.

“Kulaka West is a new team that started in Jiwaka,” he explained. “We broke out from Northern Pride and we’ve come this far. I want to say thank you to our sponsors who helped in one way or another, including the minor sponsors. 

“Though we played in the Jiwaka Challenge, we came through the mercy pass, not the gold pass. In the Eastern Challenge, we were well aware of that, so we persevered; we played strong, and we played hard.

“We will enjoy the game on the weekend. May the best team win.”

Another strong Jiwaka team, Kindeng Storm, also proved to be the best out of the 16 teams that took part in the competition. Their captain, Scott Francis, emphasised that the lack of experience and sponsors did nothing to daunt their spirits.

“There are no experienced players in the team. It is made up of raw talents from the village. We were not backed by any sponsors. Only our families in Lae supported us and helped us this far. I wish to thank the families in Lae who helped us.

“In our two-week preparation, we have polished up on the mistakes we noted in the past games, and we are ready. We aim to bring the win to Jiwaka.”

On Saturday, Prum Panthers will take on Kulaka West at 1.30pm. Game two will see Kindeng Storms test the strength of defending champions, Homeland Saints.  

The winners of Saturday’s match will fight for the coveted Ipatas Cup on Sunday.

Tickets will be sold at the gate; K10 for adults and K5 for children.

Loop Author