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PNG Digicel Cup Aiming for July 4 Kick Off

Discussion in 'International' started by deluded pom?, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. deluded pom?

    deluded pom? Coach

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  2. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/tentative-kick-off-date-set/


    Tentative kick-off date set
    May 1, 2020May 1, 2020 The National Sports
    Article Views : 0

    ORGANISERS of the Digicel Cup have tentatively set July 4 and 5 as possible dates to kick off the country’s premier rugby league competition.
    This will, however, be subject to the endorsement of the relevant authorities over the containment of the coronavirus pandemic and post-state of emergency (SOE) arrangements.

    Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) manager Stanley Hondina told the 12 Digicel Cup franchise chairmen and managers earlier this week that there seemed to be some degree of certainty now to engage with all stakeholders for the competition to kick off.
    “Over the past several weeks, we have been in consultations with our sponsors and partners, the stater of emergency controller’s office and the Government to see how best we can assist during these trying times and the possibility of PNGNRLC kicking off the Digicel Cup competition for this year,” he said.
    Hondina said in line with the cancellation of the Queensland Intrust Super Cup season and the protocols and processes to follow in response to Covid 19, the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) on March 18 announced the suspension of all league programmes and competitions, including the Digicel Cup, until June 5.
    “The Digicel Cup was scheduled to kick off on April 5 but the PNGRFL took the initiative and proactive step to defer the start of the competition by two months,” he said.
    Hondina said the Government declared a state of emergency for 14 days on 23 March, which was extended by Parliament by a further two months until June 2.
    He said travel restrictions, social distancing, gatherings and other orders and directives will have been lifted a few days earlier, making a June 5 start impossible.
    “PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka is looking to have a meeting with the state of emergency controller and other relevant authorities to look at options and guidelines,” Hondina said. “And that health protocols and processes are in place to be followed by all players, officials, stakeholders, sponsors, partners and the public.”
    He said some SOE restrictions such as air travel and travel between provinces may be lifted and relaxed in the coming weeks and a ‘new normal’ looked certain.
    “At least for now, this gives our sponsors, partners, franchises and stakeholders some space to make necessary plans and decisions for their best interests and circumstances,” Hondina said.
    “It also gives sufficient time for players and coaching staff to plan their training and preparations for a possible July 5 kick-off.”
    Hondina said the PNGNRLC board would meet to discuss a revised competition, registration fees, sponsorships, team training, camps and game-day protocols.
    He urged the public to respect the state of emergency directives and observe all medical protocols and processes for a safe outcome.
    “Our lives and livelihoods will return to normal if and when we observe those orders and restrictions,” Hondina said. “Doing that will allow us to watch and enjoy our No.1 sport of rugby league.”
     
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  3. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/muruks-consider-options-after-lae-bid-knocked-back/

    Muruks consider options after Lae bid knocked back
    April 30, 2020 The National Sports
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    THE Mendi Muruks are considering their options after Digicel Cup organisers rejected their bid to use the Lae Rugby Ground as their home in the upcoming season, says an official.
    Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) manager Stanley Hondina told The National yesterday that the Muruks had written to them about relocating to Lae as their home venue as Tente Oval was undergoing maintenance for next year’s PNG Games in Southern Highlands.
    “The PNGNRLC board had asked them (Muruks) to seek permission from the Lae Rugby League management,” he said.
    “The Muruks did that and we received a response from Lae Rugby League that due to the wear and tear of the ground and also other games being held there, they prefered to have only one franchise being the Lae Snax Tigers. “The Muruks agreed and advised us that they would be based in Lae for pre-season training only and they would consider their options other than Lae to be their home ground.”
    Meanwhile, Hondina said PNGNRLC had advised Port Moresby-based Gulf Isou and Hela Wigmen to return to their home provinces.
    “We have made it known to the teams in their participation agreement,” he said.
    “They are making necessary arrangements to go back home as they are aware of it all.”
    He said PNGNRLC would hold a press conference today to make further announcements on the upcoming season.
     
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  4. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/hunters-players-for-cup/

    Hunters players for Cup
    April 17, 2020 The National Sports
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    PNGRFL allows squad to join local franchises for this season

    THE Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) has given the green light to SP Hunters players to join Digicel Cup sides in the upcoming season.
    With the cancellation of the Queensland Intrust Super Cup season over the coronavirus pandemic, there was uncertainty about the governing body’s plans for the Hunters for the remainder of the year.
    But in his weekly column, which is exclusive to The National, PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka announced that the Hunters programme would be maintained with its “core staff”.
    “The (Hunters) players will be able to play in the Digicel Cup when it kicks off,” he said, allowing the squad to maintain match fitness leading up to next season.
    “However, the kick-off of the revised Digicel Cup season will be subject to the lifting of the restrictions as announced (by the Government during the State of Emergency).
    “The PNG National Rugby League Competition will also need to confirm with all franchises on their requirements for preparation ahead of kick-off. Our affiliate league competitions will commence at the same time as the Digicel Cup.
    “The Coca-Cola National Schools Rugby League will be restructured in line with the amended education calendar.
    “The affiliate leagues and schools competitions may have to be restricted at first to competitions and divisions that are able to comply with the medical protocols approved by PNGRFL.
    “All other PNGRFL programmes and tournament dates have been amended and rescheduled to reflect the revised timelines.”
    Meanwhile, Tsaka said PNGRFL was seeking clearance from State of Emergency Controller David Manning to proceed with its annual general meeting on April 25.
    “But this of course will depend very much on the approval of the controller,” he said.
     
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  5. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/strong-season-tipped/

    Strong season tipped
    April 27, 2020 The National Sports
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    By PARKER TAMBUA
    DEFENDING champions Lae Tigers are anticipating one of the strongest seasons in Digicel Cup history given the inclusion of SP Hunters and Queensland Intrust Super Cup (ISC) players.
    Tigers owner Ian Chow told The National on Friday that the ISC season cancellation over the Covid-19 pandemic would allow players from the Hunters and other Queensland teams to boost local franchises.
    He said Hunters trio Mark Piti, Junior Rop and Charlie Simon would return to the Lae Biscuit Company-sponsored side to boost their title defence.
    “If the season kicks off, I believe it will be one of the most competitive campaigns we have seen,” Chow said.
    “We are expecting the Tigers players to return from the Hunters for this season.
    “Other teams will also be a given a boost by their ISC players.
    “We are expecting teams like the Rabaul Gurias, Enga Mioks and Waghi Tumbe to have strong campaigns with the return of their ISC players.
    “It will be one of the best seasons.
    “Let’s hope the Covid-19 situation improves for the Digicel Cup to kick off.”

    Next year’s Rugby League World Cup will also provide motivation for players as they push for spots in coach Michael Marum’s Papua New Guinea Kumuls squad.

    Chow said the Tigers were hoping to resume camp soon but it would hinge on the advice of the Papua New Guinea Rigby Football League and the state of emergency controller.

    Meanwhile, franchises like the Mendi Muruks, Waghi Tumbe and the Port Moresby Vipers have recruited Hunters players for the upcoming Digicel Cup.

    Muruks coach Roderick Puname has secured the services of Hunters pair Stanton Albert and Roy Ellison, and Central Queensland Capras forward McKenzie Yei.

    The Vipers are expected to have the services of Kumuls back Stargroth Amean, and Hunters’ Enoch Maki, Shane Haro, Kevin Appo, Patrick Morea and Brandon Gotuno.

    Earlier this year, Tumbe announced the signing of Hunters’ Baundo Aba, Emmanuel Waine, Casey Dickson and Joe Frank.
     
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  6. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/muruks-secure-three-stars/

    Muruks secure three stars
    April 27, 2020 The National Sports
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    THE Mendi Muruks have secured the services of SP Hunters pair Stanton Albert and Roy Ellison, and Central Queensland Capras forward McKenzie Yei for the upcoming Digicel Cup season.
    Muruks coach Roderick Puname told The National on Friday that the trio would begin training with the 30-man squad once the Government’s nationwide Covid-19 state of emergency was lifted.
    “Stanton, Roy and McKenzie have played for the Muruks before and now it’s good that they are coming back,” he said. “It will surely boost the young players in the team.
    “With the inclusion of the trio, the squad may increase to 33 players but it depends on the club management.
    “If they want to work with less than 30 men, then we might see some players being released to create space for the trio.”
    Puname, who took over the coaching role from Andiki Andrew last month, said he only had a chance to meet the squad in camp in Lae recently.
    But the Covid-19 threat had disrupted camp with players being released for their safety.
    The former Wigmen coach said he was new to the squad but added that he was keen to build a strong club culture among the players.
    “I don’t know most of the players so the team are basically new to me,” Puname said. “Hopefully, when we resume camp, I will start to build a connection with my players before the season starts and we’ll plot our campaign.”
    Meanwhile, given the fluidity of the Covid-19 situation, the Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition is yet to set a definitive date to kick off the Digicel Cup season.
     
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  7. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/boas-open-to-gurias-return/

    Boas open to Gurias return
    May 5, 2020 The National Sports
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    By PARKER TAMBUA
    SP Hunters captain Ase Boas says he is open to re-joining the Rabaul Gurias for the upcoming Digicel Cup season but his job as a Port Moresby-based policeman remains the top priority.
    The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) has allowed the Hunters to join Digicel Cup sides for this season following the Queensland Intrust Super Cup season (ISC) cancellation over the Covid-19 pandemic.
    But Boas told The National last week that he had resumed his job as a constable with the community policing directorate at the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary headquarters at Konedobu.
    The 31-year-old, who made a name for himself at the Gurias before joining the Hunters, said moving to Kokopo to play for the Agmark-sponsored side would not be convenient for him.
    “Right now, I am busy with my job here in Port Moresby and I am not sure whether to play for the Gurias this season,” he said.
    “It depends, if the club can arrange for me to do my own training here for like three or four days during the week and join the team on the weekends, then it will be great.
    “I will have a chat with the club about my conditions and listen to what they have to say.”
    Meanwhile, Boas said the Hunters were still waiting for their training programs from the sport’s national governing body.
    The 2017 ISC premiership-winning playmaker said they were anticipating an announcement on the programs after the PNGRFL annual general meeting, which has been deferred to June 6.
     
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  8. langpark

    langpark First Grade

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    Any chance of these matches being broadcast anywhere?
     
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  9. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    Am pretty sure that if Digicel wanted to they could broadcast it out to the rest of the world.
    Maybe they don't think there is a market for it.

    Maybe if a lot of people from outside of PNG asked for it they could do it.

    See link to their website below;
    http://www.digicelplay.com.pg/TVWAN/
     
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  10. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/boas-seeking-clubs-clearance/

    Boas seeking club’s clearance

    By PARKER TAMBUA

    KUMULS and Doncaster playmaker Watson Boas says he is seeking clearance from the English club to play with Digicel Cup side Rabaul Gurias while the Betfred League One is on hold.
    The 25-year old told The National from Kokopo yesterday that due to family commitments, he had returned home from England on a temporary basis.
    Boas said his contract with the English third-tier club would expire at the end of next year.
    The 2017 Intrust Super Cup winner said he was training from home and was eager to join the Agmark sponsored-side if given the nod by his club. “I came home due to some family commitments,” said Boas, who has so far played nine tests for Papua New Guinea.
    “I was supposed to stay here for three weeks and return back to England.
    “But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, competitions in the United Kingdom have been suspended so my manager has advised me to remain here for now.
    “While waiting, I am doing my own training to maintain fitness.
    “At this stage, I am not too sure if the competition in the UK will resume because reports are that Covid-19 situation there is not improving.
    “But fingers crossed. If the competition in UK resumes, that’ll be great.
    “If the season is cancelled then I could play for the Gurias for the remainder of the year and hopefully return to England for next season.”
    Boas said he was disappointed with the indefinite suspension of League One but was optimistic of a positive outcome.
     
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  11. langpark

    langpark First Grade

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    It can only benefit all parties if he is allowed to play! Obviously the only slight risk is if he picks up a long-term injury.

    PNG Hunters players have already been granted permission to play for local clubs this year.
     
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  12. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    Will be a very tough competition this year with all the Hunters players taking part and other players from overseas like Watson staying on to play.

    Wartovo Puara jnr from Barrow Raiders is also back in the country and could also look to line up for the Gurias too.

    Edwin Ipape Manly/Blacktown is also already back with the Lae Tigers since the NSW Cup got cancelled.

    Mekenzie Yei from the CQ Capra's is also back training with the Mendi Muruks.

    Not sure what's happening to other ex Hunter's players at the other ISC Teams.
     
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  13. deluded pom?

    deluded pom? Coach

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  14. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    Wonder if other PNG Players that are currently at other NSW and QCUP Teams will be coming back home to play as well.

    There is guys like Nixon Putt at North Devils and Moses Meninga at Townsville Blackhawks.
     
  15. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    Sad day for PNG Rugby League

    PNG Rugby Football League is in mourning following the death yesterday of Owner and Chairmen of the Agmark Rabaul Gurias, Mr. John Nightingale.

    Affectionately known as Papa Guria by fans and players of the East New Britain side, Mr. Nightingale passed away at Lismore Hospital in NSW. He was 73 and had been battling cancer the last 6 months.

    Tributes started to flowing in late yesterday for the man held in very high regard by the Rugby League Family in PNG. The standards and professionalism that he set within the Agmark Gurias club was used as a benchmark by most of the other clubs to where they are now.


    [​IMG]
    John Nightingale being hoisted after the Gurias 2012 Grand Final win

    [​IMG]
    During an Agmark Gurias Presentation
     
  16. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/gurias-boss-passes-away/

    Gurias boss passes away
    May 20, 2020 The National Sports
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    PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football (PNGRFL) chairman Sandis Tsaka has described the late John Nightingale as a “selfless, generous and passionate rugby league supporter” in the country.
    The Agmark Rabaul Gurias founder and chairman passed away at Lismore Hospital in New South Wales, Australia, at 10.30am yesterday after battling cancer for the past six months, he said.
    “He was a selfless, generous and passionate rugby League supporter,” Tsaka told The National last night. “He contributed immensely not only to the Gurias but at all levels of rugby league in the country.
    “The game will be greatly indebted to him. He made so many friends through rugby league. He has left behind a legacy and rugby league is better today because of his invaluable contribution to the game.”
    Tsaka said it was a sad day for the sport “in PNG, and East New Britain and the New Guinea Islands in particular”.
    “On behalf of the PNGRFL board, chief executive Reatau Rau and staff, PNG National Rugby League Competition chairman Adrian Chow and manager Stanley Hondina, all Digicel Cup franchises, PNG LNG Kumul coach Michael Marum, sponsors, partners, officials, players and our rugby league families in the country and abroad, I extend our deepest and sincere condolences to wife Derrie Nightingale and children James, Steven and Nemika and their families on the loss of your husband, father, grandfather and ‘Papa Guria’ John Nightingale,” he said.
    “May he rest in eternal peace.”
    Tsaka said details of funeral arrangements would be made known after consultation with the family.
     
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  17. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/sp-brewery-lauds-nightingale/

    SP Brewery lauds Nightingale
    May 21, 2020 The National Sports
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    SOUTH Pacific Brewery has commended Rabaul Gurias founder and chairman John Nightingale for his 30-year involvement in Papua New Guinea rugby league.
    Nightingale — known by many as “Papa Guria” — passed away at Lismore Hospital in New South Wales, Australia, on Tuesday after battling cancer for the past six months. “The brewery and ‘Papa Guria’ share the same love and commitment — both are avid supporters of rugby league since the 1970s,” the company said in a statement yesterday.
    “The brewery is humbled by his efforts in PNG’s agriculture sector and his passion to support rugby league through the Agmark Rabaul Gurias franchise.”
    Nightingale’s involvement in rugby league in PNG spans almost 30 years.
    “He has left a legacy that will be remembered forever,” the company said. “The brewery management and staff pay tribute to his hard work and life, and extend our condolences to his immediate family.”
    Former brewery managing director Stan Joyce said: “I will always remember the late John Nightingale as the most devoted and passionate supporter of his beloved Gurias.
    “The spirit of rugby League and indeed quite a bit of SP Lager ran through the veins of ‘Papa Guria’.
    “Many an official will remember a verbal lashing from John at a decision that went wrong.
    “This was always delivered in the spirit of the game and a warm embrace over a few beers at the end of the day.”
     
  18. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/tsaka-we-will-follow-nrls-lead/

    Tsaka: We will follow NRL’s lead
    May 15, 2020 The National Sports
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    THE Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League says it is following the Australian NRL’s lead by establishing health and safety protocols for its programmes, including the Digicel Cup.
    “We’ve been working with our partners in the sport and the national authorities to chart a way forward to implement revised programmes for rugby league after the Covid-19 pandemic and the state of emergency (SOE),” PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka said in a statement yesterday.
    “We met Chief Superintendent Dominic Kakas, Covid-19 Media and Public Information Joint Agency Task Force team leader, on behalf of SOE Controller David Manning last week to present our revised plans for this year and the PNGRFL public health guidelines that provide the framework for PNGRFL’s ‘new normal’ for rugby league.
    “The guidelines are known as the ‘Banis Protocols’.
    “We are committed to ensuring that the health and safety of our players, staff and supporters are protected.”
    He said the protocols mirrored those of the NRL which had been adapted and tailored to the PNG environment.
    “We will be engaging with our key stakeholders on the protocols beginning next week,” Tsaka said.
    “It is important that awareness is carried out and everyone involved in the game know what the processes are, the roles and responsibilities they all hold.”
    He said the sport’s governing body was hopeful of kicking off competitions, including the Digicel Cup, in the “next few months”.
    “These documents are an integral part of meeting this goal, in conjunction with the endorsement of the Office of the SOE Controller.”
     
  19. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/tributes-to-late-papa-guria-nightingale/

    Tributes to late ‘Papa Guria’ Nightingale
    May 22, 2020 The National Sports
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    AS a sister New Guinea Islands (NGI) team, the Kimbe Cutters are saddened by the passing of John Nightingale.
    He was instrumental in promoting rugby league in NGI and the rest of the country.
    His leadership and passions to develop rugby league is reflected by the progress and development of the Rabaul Gurias.
    West New Britain’s dream of having a team in the Digicel Cup was adopted from the Gurias.
    The Cutters board and management would like to pay tribute to this wonderful man for his contribution to rugby league in the country.
    Kimbe Cutters team manager Freddy Kumai

    JOHN was undoubtedly a great man in rugby league. He leaves a legacy, being the sole sponsor of the Rabaul Gurias since its inception – a record that will stand to be challenged.
    I first met him during my playing days and he used to be so vocal on the sidelines and we would have some heated arguments during those times.
    Later when I started working at the National Rugby League Competition (NRLC), he was so supportive like other franchise chairmen.
    He understood what needed to be done to better administer and manage the game.
    He was instrumental in the restructure from the then NRL Incorporated to NRLC.
    The Gurias were surely his heartbeat as he didn’t miss a single game regardless of distance or weather.
    He was always there and bestowed the perfect name “Papa Guria’’.
    PNGNRLC manager Stanley Hondina

    ON behalf of the Enga Mioks, including club patron and Governor Sir Peter Ipatas, I would like to pay tribute to the late John Nightingale.
    He will long be remembered for his contribution to the development of this sport through the establishment of the Rabaul Gurias as a model franchise.
    The PNG National Rugby League Competition will miss his influential contributions. John will be remembered as a true rugby league hero.
    May his soul rest in eternal peace.
    Enga Mioks chairman Philip Kepson

    [​IMG]THE Central Dabaris board, coaching staff and players are saddened by the passing of the John Nightingale.
    John was a true servant of the game.
    He was a founding and valuable contributor PNG rugby league had evolved into.
    His dedication, commitment and love for the people of East New Britain is clearly shown in what the Rabaul Gurias have become — a powerful brand in the region.
    Under his watch, the Gurias had won many inter-city competitions, all the while improving professionalism in the game.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, Agmark staff and the Gurias.
    Central Dabaris chief executive Hubert Warupi

    RUGBY League in PNG has lost a pillar of the code, the late John Nightingale.
    John has always been an avid supporter of rugby league through thick and thin, producing a strong Gurias brand and countless Kumuls over the years.
    When people speak of the Gurias, it resonates with the author of the brand himself. His legacy speaks volumes.
    John was a good friend to the Hela Wigmen.
    He was visionary in growing the game and his legacy will forever be embedded in PNG rugby league.
    A true legend gone too soon.
    He was always courageous in his victories and gracious in defeat.
    On behalf of our patron, board, management, players, people of Hela, supporters and our sponsors, we convey our sincere condolences to John’s family and friends around the country.
    Hela Wigmen chairman Andy Hetra

    [​IMG]JOHN was the funniest man. I remember the first time I landed in PNG more than 10 years ago and met John.
    At the time, I had no idea about the difference between rugby union and league.
    Being a big rugby union fan, at my first league game in PNG, I remember asking John what the players, who were performing a scrum, were doing.
    I said that wasn’t a scrum and that something was really wrong with the game. He laughed so much and told me that it was rugby league.
    His support for the Digicel Cup and his beloved Gurias was so strong.
    Digicel PNG senior vice-president Lorna McPherson

    [​IMG]I JUST lost a mentor and big brother in the late John Nightingale who passed away this week.
    The passing of John caused more damages than Mt Tavurvur eruptions in 1973 and 1994.
    John was an icon, role model in business, selfless and endless supporter of all sports and community work.
    On behalf of my family, the Goroka Lahanis and the people of Eastern Highlands, we extend our deepest and sincere condolences to the Nightingale family, Rabaul Gurias and the people of East New Britain.
    I will miss you, John. Rest in peace.
    Goroka Lahanis franchise owner Simon Sia

    [​IMG]I WILL always remember his passion for his beloved Gurias, imbedded deep in his heart and exhibited openly, though not at the expense of the greater good of rugby league.
    His commitment, dedication and leadership inspired the Gurias to the top of our national rugby league competition.
    John’s contribution to agriculture, shipping, business and the wider community in PNG, especially the New Guinea Islands, is significant.
    His businesses brought services and development to many people in remote areas and offered them a sustainable livelihood growing and selling cocoa.
    I believe John always thought highly of those upon which his success was built on – his staff and grassroots Papua New Guineans. That was likely why he gave so much back.
    May he rest in peace.
    PNGNRLC chairman Adrian Chow

    [​IMG]YOU did very well champion. The late John Nightingale was one of the greatest ambassadors of rugby league and the agro-industry in PNG. The growth of rugby league in PNG has your hands and soul in it too.
    We thank you and we will remember you through the Rabaul Gurias and the people of East New Britain.
    The Port Moresby Rugby Football League, its players, management and staff salute John in high esteem for his enormous and undivided contribution to the development of rugby league in the country.
    May his soul rest in eternal peace.
    POMRFL chairman Dr James Naipao

    THE Port Moresby Vipers board, management and players would like to pass our deepest condolences to the family of the late John Nightingale.
    Being a passionate follower of rugby league, John was the cornerstone of the Rabaul Gurias’ successes through his sponsorship over the years.
    The Vipers and the rest of the rugby league fraternity will miss him.
    Death can never take a good man away, for in the hearts of the people he inspired, the legacy remains and continues from generation to generation.
    Port Moresby Vipers franchise manager Ronnie Titie Jr
     
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  20. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    https://www.thenational.com.pg/manning-approves-digicel-cup/


    Manning approves Digicel Cup
    May 29, 2020The NationalSports


    STATE of Emergency (SOE) Controller David Manning has approved the Digicel Cup kick-off but under conditions on crowd control and training, says the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL).
    The approval comes following a PNGRFL submission made on its revised season under the “Banis Protocol”, which mirrors Covid-19 guidelines put in place by Australia’s National Rugby League.

    In a letter to PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka on Wednesday, Manning congratulated the sport’s national governing body on its efforts to resume its activities and programmes.
    “In fact, it is the only one received thus far from any sporting body within PNG which gives due consideration to the Covid-19 health protocols for the ‘new normal’ after the SOE,” he said.

    Manning said the submission was detailed and thorough with emphasis on players and officials.
    “I will give approval for PNGRFL to resume with only one domestic competition under a revised model, but subject to two conditions being met,” he said.

    The two conditions relate to spectator control and training plans for doctors, physiotherapists and club medics on Covid-19 protocols.
    “The one competition can allow PNGRFL to better mitigate the risks and opportunity to adjust and improve to be fully compliant with Covid-19 protocols under the ‘new normal’,” Manning said.

    Tsaka said operational plans for the Digicel Cup would be made known soon.
    “We are grateful for the positive feedback and our partners are greatly encouraged by the approval to kick off one competition and that will be our premier competition, the Digicel Cup,” he said.
    “We look forward to presenting to Manning our revised match day ‘Banis Protocols’ and the ‘Banis Protocol’ stakeholder engagement strategy which addresses the two conditions he has raised, to ensure the competition can start.”

    PNG National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) chairman Adrian Chow said: “PNGNRLC is thankful for Manning’s response and approval which allows our Digicel Cup to go ahead this year.
    “With most of our NRL and SP Hunters players participating, the competition will be of the highest standard and will give our developing players the opportunity to play with the best.”
     

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