Digicel ExxonMobil Cup

Dabaris Aim High

Finishing outside the top 6 last year 2023 has again challenged the Central Dabaris Board management and playing group to get back to the process and re-focus on what worked for them last year and where they need to improve to be better in 2024.

With some decent offseason recruitments apart from drawing emerging talents from their development pathway program Eda Dabaris to add to their core group from last season now in preseason training.

Gurias to finalise 2024 squad

An initial squad of 34 players has been announced in the interim to kick-start the preseason program this week.

60 per cent of the playing group are from the 2022-2023 playing roster while the balance of the squad is either new or returning.

The Gurias also announced a new coaching staff to take charge of the team in 2024.

Gurias legend and former assistant coach Jessie Alunga has been elevated to the Gurias top job as head coach while inaugural Sepik Pride coach and former Gurias trainer Joe Bruno returns to the fold as Alunga’s Assistant Coach.

Lahanis dig deep to cover losses

The franchise management confirmed the reinstatement of the former head coach after he was sidelined last season. Urakusie last coached the side in 2022 with the franchise missing out on making the cut for the finals.

“I trustingly called Gonzela Urakusie to coach. He had a disciplinary problem last year and that’s why we sidelined him and brought in Charlie Wabo. But we made way for him to come into the team,” said franchise manager Tom Pori.

The appointment of Urakusie was amongst some key changes in the club including standing down team Captain Charlie Buka. 

Coaches conference underway

PNG Rugby Football League Head of Elite Player Development, Joe Grima took charge of the sessions today, mainly stressing the roles and responsibilities of coaches and harnessing their skills and the technical know-how of operating computers using specific software to analyze games during match reviews.

Grima is amazed and excited to see how the coaches are bracing the new technology which is adding value to their work.

The coaches conference ends today and will be followed by a one-day sports trainers workshop on Sunday.

PNGNRLC hosts workshop for franchise managers

The Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) specifically designed the conference to provide the clubs with the greatest opportunities to prepare for the season start on 13 April.

The managers will have the opportunity to work directly with the PNG NRLC team in addressing some management challenges emanating from the past couple of seasons and ensuring compliance and governance of the game are being professionally done at their clubs level.

Day one of the conference was facilitated by former NRL referee and now PNGRFL Competition Manager Tony Archer.

Stone joins Vipers camp

Stone, who coaches athletes and runs his own athletics club in Port Moresby, was with Hela Wigmen last year as a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Stone’s appointment took effect immediately after the club signed up Goroka Lahanis 2023 grand final runners-up coach Charlie Wabo as Head Coach for 2024.

Stone was a typical Tokarara suburb street kid who was brought up in a home that taught strong discipline and respect through his dad and PNG Taekwondo black belt and instructor Jamuga Stone.

Gulf Isou comp search for new talent

The programs took place in Iokea village, Kerema District from October 7th -14th and in Koialahu village, Kikori from November 11th -18th, 2023.  

The program will culminate in a tournament slated to take place at Moresby South Stadium in Port Moresby from Wednesday 13th – Saturday 16th December, 2023. 

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.