Digicel ExxonMobil Cup

Mioks book first spot

Booking the first grand final spot after overcoming a strong challenge from Lae Snax Tigers on Sunday, has again reaffirmed their determination to go one better, after falling short to Lahanis in 2018.

After a scoreless but frustrating first half for both teams, Mioks had points in them but squandered their chances. While the Tigers had their work cut out for them, somehow held their line well to repel the Mioks' onslaught for a scoreless first half.

Wigmen’s finals hope shattered

Under a packed crowd at the Santos National Football Stadium on Sunday, the Lahanis broke hearts by winning at the final whistle.

Lahanis tagged underdogs started into the match kick-off with heads high to face the might of the Wigmen at all cost.

After some good exchanges by both teams in the opening minutes, it was Lahanis led by veteran captain, Charlie Buka at dummy half, who stayed in the grind and persisted throughout the contest that frustrated the opponents much to the delight of their parochial white and red army of supporters.

Gurias stop Muruks in thriller

Gurias now advance to the second round of the elimination finals this weekend.  

Gurias got off to a flyer, dominating the first half with powerful centre and man of the match, Alex Max scoring a double, before Muruks clawed their way back into the contest, only to fall short by 2 points.

After their heartbreaking 22-12 loss to Muruks without head coach Francis Ray, back in round 14, the East New Britain men took to the Santos National Football stadium with a plan to tame Muruks in an early surge.

Digicel ExxonMobil Cup nears final battle

This Saturday and Sunday games of round 15 will see current top teams, Enga Mioks, Tigers, Wigmen, Gurias, Muruks and Lahanis out to consolidate their spots on the ladder.

While competition pace setters Mioks are all but got the minor premiership honours in the bag, a win against Sepik Pride on Saturday is crucial to their build-up to the finals.

The Pride though have nothing to lose and can compete against the benchmark teams in the competition as they have shown in recent times.

Mioks eye minor premiership

Before the competition proceeds to the top six semi-finals series on the weekend of 13th August, 2023, Mioks make a clear stamp as competition leaders.

After round 14 Mioks have recorded 13 wins and a draw accumulating to 21 points on the overall points table.

They are 6 points clear of second placed Lae Snax Tigers (21 points), followed by defending premiers Kroton Hela Wigmen on third spot (20 points), ENB Agmark Gurias (18), PRK Mendi  Muruks (15) and Bintangor Goroka Lahanis (15) bringing up the top 6.

Vipers, Mioks match end in draw

The round 14 match of the Digicel ExxonMobil Cup saw a bumper crowd mostly Mioks diehards who turned up in droves to watch the thrilling encounter.

As anticipated the fiery contest got off at a cracking pace with both teams showing some early nerves in their opening exchanges and committing a number of basic errors, especially in their executions. 

Wigmen hold off Cutters

Cutters four-try hero centre, Elijah Rotinga was unstoppable and picked up the Digicel Man of the Match award.

The young Cutters side would not die wondering with lanky centre Rotinga at the helm scoring all their points from four tries and kicking 2 from 4 attempts only to fall short by 6 points in the end.

Seven minutes into the contest and Wigmen showed their class early when five-eight Tony Wemin put his backrower Atua Joshua Nogoya through for their first points to lead 6-0.

Muruks ruthless win over Gurias

PNG Hunters Hooker, Wesser Tenza, helped his provincial team snatch the 10-point victory with a solo try before the fulltime siren.

The Muruks, who have been struggling in Pool A against strong opponents in the Lae Snax Tigers and Bintangor Goroka Lahanis, proved their finals credibility in this match.

Registering this win is a confidence booster as Muruks chip away at the remaining matches before the finals. Muruks currently sit behind EPG Enga Mioks, Tigers and Lahanis in Pool A.

Alarming stats for game offenders

PNGNRLC General Manager, Leith Isaac during a media conference this week said from all their match report statistics they have recorded a total of 32 players who have been placed on report and suspended for various on-field offences so far this season, which is quite alarming.

Apart from the 32 players suspended, Isaac also made mention of the suspension of four match officials and two franchise coaches, and three club officials including the three franchise clubs namely Muruks, Lahanis and Tigers who have been heavily fined for bringing the game into disrepute.

DEM Cup finals date set

Matches are rescheduled to be played only in Port Moresby and Lae for the remaining 3 rounds before the top 6 teams are decided.

PNGNRLC Manager, Paul Joseph when confirming the new dates for the finals series, thanked all the 12 franchises and major sponsors for their full cooperation and understanding, especially during the past 11 weeks of the pool matches.

Competition resumes this weekend with the pool cross-over matches set for the next three weeks culminating in the top 6 teams, proceeding to the finals series.