2023 Digicel ExxonMobil Cup

Lahanis meet Tigers in prelimary finals

The preliminary final this Sunday decides who gets the right to meet early Cup favorites Mioks in the grand final next Sunday.

From the outset, Lahanis recent back-to-back wins against star studded teams, Hela Wigman and Agmark Gurias, had merit and could be the real deal. They are the giant killers of semifinals footy.

They are up against the sleeping giants, and a benchmark of the competition Tigers, who’ve been there, done that and know what it takes to bounce back and rise to the challenge when it really counts.

Lahanis too good for Gurias

It was 24 - 18 in the 2nd elimination final of the 2023 Digicel ExxonMobil Cup, in front of the packed Santos National Football Stadium on Sunday. 

Charlie Buka and veteran captain, Thomson Teteh got the Lahanis on the front foot early, using their attacking prowess to send Gurias back paddling. They selfishly kept possession for a good 20 minutes and turned them into valuable points to lead 18-0 before Gurias got back into the contest to trail 8-18.

Mioks Tigers in first qualifier

Reaching the pinnacle of the country’s premier competition, let alone lifting the major silverware would be the ultimate goal of every team competing in the PNGNRLC, Digicel Exxon Mobil Cup.

After their unblemished run through regulation season and the minor premiership title in the bag, Mioks remain steadfast in their belief and process to get through to the big one on September 3.

Crunch time for DEM Cup

After round 15, the leading top 6 teams are Enga Mioks on 29 points, Lae Snax Tigers on 23 points, Hela Wigmen on 22 points, Agmark Gurias on 20 points, Mendi Muruks on 17 points and Goroka Lahanis on 15.

Just hanging outside the top 6 are Moni Plus NCDC Vipers and CPG Central Dabaris on 13 points apiece.

Top of the table clash

Both teams have earned their stripes on merit to get to where they are but this is the defining moment that will decide who becomes the outright competition leaders, will it be Mioks or Tigers?

What's even more exciting about Sunday’s blockbuster is it has got a bit of grand final feel to it, as both teams have put in a lot of preparations and hard work to make it count come game day. 

From the coaching perspective, Tigers rookie coach and former PNG Hunters goal kicking guru Noel Zeming is no slouch filling in the big shoes this year and has done remarkably well so far. 

DEM Round 7 preview

At the Santos NFS Stadium, defending champions Kroton Hela Wigmen faces the fast finishing Gas Resources Central who have been consistent for the last 4 rounds, only to allow Gurias to get the better of them last week. They are up against a revitalized Wigmen outfit tomorrow, who are on a high after picking their first win last week against Vipers.

If Dabaris start strong and compete for the entire 80 minutes, they should give themselves a chance. Wigmen after shooting down Vipers last week will be out for revenge from their previous loss to Dabaris earlier in the season.

Mioks game moved to Goroka

This follows the landslide near Lai Bridge in Wapenamanda.

“This means the Mioks will not host Lahanis at Aipus Oval this week Sunday as initially scheduled,” said chairman of the Mioks, Philip Kepson.

“However, Lahanis home game in round 12 will be given to Mioks to host at Aipus.

“Therefore, as the decision has already been made, we have no choice but to go by their wish for us to travel to Goroka this weekend.”

Kepson said they are expecting tough competition from the Goroka side.

Vipers thump Eagles

A very challenging speech by NCD Governor and Patron of the Port Moresby Vipers Powes Parkop at the club’s season launch on Wednesday night seemed to have done the trick. Viper met old arch rival club Mt.Hagen Eagles in round 1 of the renamed Digicel ExxonMobil Cup on Sunday, and beat them.

After playing second fiddle to old and new franchise clubs over the past decade, the Vipers seemed to have recruited big on the offseason which was evident against the Eagles on Sunday.