Monday, August 16, 2010

Gurias rumble

CAPTION: Rangers’ Emmanuel Uki (right) being tackled by Hagen Kuris Bamu Talingapua in yesterday’s bemobile Cup match in Port Moresby. Rangers won 16-6. – Nationalpic by AURI EVA

Muruks left tryless at the Kalabond ‘graveyard’


THE bemobile Cup top of the table clash at the Kalabond “graveyard” in Kokopo saw competition leaders NGIP Agmark Gurias thrash SBS Mendi Muruks 28-4 yesterday, The National reports.
Muruks fought an uphill battle against the hosts only managing two penalty goals through Andrew Sam early in the second half.
Gurias’ Rolly Matalau got the homeside on the board first with a penalty in the second minute for a 2-0 lead.
A well-executed move saw youngster Chris Jerry score minutes later as Matalau converted to make it 8-0.
Rugby convert Jeffrey Vinavel, who missed last week’s game, then beat five Muruk defenders on his way to the tryline for a14-0 advantage.
Minutes before half time, Jerry scored his second try for the day after he dodged and bounced off three tackles, at the same time juggling the ball and putting it down on the try line to close out the half at 18-0 for the Islanders.
Kumul forward George Moni added further misery for the Muruks when he latched onto a Sakias Kabange short ball to score for a 22-4 lead – this coming after Sam’s two earlier penalties.
Vinavel, a former Pukpuk, added his second as he crashed through three Muruks bringing the score to 28-4.
Gurias assistant coach Oscar Tonga said his side’s defence was the key to their win.
Muruks, on the other hand, accepted their loss and said they would be returning to Lae to re-set for next week’s important clash against Masta Mak Rangers in Port Moresby.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A win at last

Three-try hero Johnson Kuike (centre) of the Rangers getting tackled by Lae Bombers players led by veteran forward Lawrence Goive (left) in round four of the bemobile Cup yesterday in Port Moresby. Rangers won 36-16. – Nationalpic by EKAR KEAPU

Masta Mak Rangers finally snap three-game bemobile Cup losing streak

By HENRY MORABANG in The National

LOCK Johnson Kuike put on the man of the match performance scoring a hattrick of tries to help Masta Mak Rangers register their first bemobile Cup victory 32-16 over Lae Bombers at Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby yesterday.
In the other games yesterday, Kongo Coffee Warriots proved too classy for Bintangor Goroka Lahanis 16-10 in Goroka, NGIP Agmark Gurias buried WGS Mt Hagen Kuris in Kokopo 36-0 and Structural Bridging System Mendi Muruks fought a 20-all draw with Stop and Stop Civpac Vipers in Lae.
Kuike, a BSP security officer from Simbu, scored half of his side’s six tries to rout the Bombers who scored three.
After failing to complete 12 sets of six in an an abominable error-ridden opening 15 minutes, the Port Moresby franchise were seemingly in deep trouble especially with the ball coming loose in contact.
To their credit the Rangers regrouped to send Kuike through some half-hearted Bombers defence to open the score in the 12th minute for a 6-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Bombers secondrower Yobo Motoro replied for the visitors with an unconverted try to trail 6-4.
The game see-sawed for a period before Kuike visited the tryline again in the 21st minute to extend the score 10-4.
Rangers capitalised on their heavier forwards and started to create the time and space for a potent backline to flourish.
In one such move, the Rangers worked a slick move down the left flank to send winger Joel Ambrose through in the 26th minute .
Goalkicker Simon Maniat made sure of the conversion to cushion their lead 16-4.
With four minutes before half time, Rangers fullback Samson Ene scored from a Maniat inside ball to break out to a 22-4 lead at half time.
In the second half, Rangers using their forward might to punch holes in the Bombers which eventually led Kuike to scoring his third of the afternoon in the 41st minute. With another succesful conversion by new recruit Skipper Mel the Rangers were out to a commending lead 28-4. Power Ranger Ham Tee all but sealed the match in 48th minute for a 32-4 advantage.
The Bombers sensing the game was slipping away game back strongly in the last 10 minutes to score two tries.
Skipper Russ Kaupa Jr displayed his individual brilliance with a clever chip and chase to recollect and score next to the uprights to peg back the lead 32-10.
Bombers forwards Nelson Tony, Lawrence Goive, Sydney Fred, Ben Kaupa started to muscle up on Rangers forwards resulting in an entralling final minutes as Rangers big men Enoch Maki, Nathan Anjo, Ford Tuli and skipper Francis Ray clashed with Bombers pack.
The Lae team’s consistency in the last minute paid off when five-eighth Martin Yanda scored a consolation try to add some respectability to the final scoreline.
The match was well controlled by Porgera-based State of Origin accreditated linesman Wayne Wool.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Warriors given a second chance

Kundiawa Warriors are back after 3 years in exile




PNG rugby league’s prodigal son the Kundiawa Warriors are set to return to the country’s premier rugby league competition the bemobile Cup, The National reports.

After getting the green light by the Cup governing board over the weekend, the Simbu franchise will take part in the competition after three years in the sporting wilderness.

The Warriors paid K70, 000 to the PNGRFL offsetting a K60, 000 debt incurred by previous sponsor Pagini Transport.

The extra K10, 000 was an initial payment to get the Warriors on board with an additional K80, 000 yet to be paid for the Simbu provincial team complete its entry requirements for 2010.

According to Fox, all franchise teams are urged to pay their franchise fees of K90, 000 for this year before March 13.

The bemobile cup board under chairman Don Fox agreed unanimously to accept the Warriors bid after submissions and guarantees from the interim Warriors board headed by Jerry Kapka with the endorsement of Simbu MPs in Governor Fr John Garia and Kundiawa/Gembogl MP  Joe Mek Teine.

Fox, also the PNG National Rugby League board chairman, confirmed that the Warriors were definite starters for the 2010 season but under strict conditions in particular not bringing the game into disrepute through violence.

“We want to make rugby league a family sport were mums and dads can take their children to watch a game of footy but we need to put a stop to violence in rugby league first,” Fox said.

He said the board decided to re-instate a team from Simbu which he acknowledged had produced many great players over the years and would no doubt continue to do so.

With the inclusion of a team from Simbu, the bemobile Cup can now boast a full complement of teams from the Highlands region further strengthening the competition.

This will now see a total of nine teams in the semi-professional competition: Agmark Gurias, ACTL Bombers, Toyota Mioks, SBS Muruks, CIVPAC Vipers, Masta Mak City Rangers, Bintangor Eagles, Bintangor Lahanis and the Kundiawa Warriors.

The competition will kick off on the April 25 with four matches around the country while one team has the bye.

PNGNRL Chairman, Don Fox said that he was impressed with the Warriors’ commitment to re-entering the competition and commended Warriors board chairman Jerry Kapka and the rest of the interim board for their tireless work over the last seven months.

Fox also visited the playing facilities at the Warriors home ground, Dickson Oval, recently to see first hand the interim board’s plans for redeveloping the playing surface and the stands in time to host home games this season.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Highlights from Sunday's bemobile Cup grand final

Highlights from Sunday's bemobile Cup grand final between Rabaul Gurias and Enga Mioks.
The Gurias took out the Auld Mug of Papua New Guinea rugby league 24-14.                                                                                                                                                                             Pictures by AURI EVA of The National, Papua New Guinea's No. 1 daily newspaper

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rabaul Gurias beat Enga Mioks

Rabaul Gurias today took out the bemobile Cup rugby league grand final with a 24-14 win over Enga Mioks at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby.

In front of a capacity crowd, the men from the land of tubuans, dukduks and volcanoes gave a football lesson to the younger and less-experienced Engans in a game which was controlled by Australian refereeing legend Bill Harrigan.

The Gurias raced to a safe 14-0 lead at halftime, and although the Mioks staged a strong second half renaissance, time was not on their side.

Rabaul was first to score in the 13th minute when prop Rodney Pora powered over near the posts, and with the extras from halfback Rolly Matalau, took an early 6-0 lead.

Matalau followed this shortly after with a penalty goal to push his side further to 8-0.

Enga was in sixes and sevens in the first half, allowing agro to creep into their game, which Rabaul capitalised on with another try to reserve forward Sam Ponda just before the halftime hooter, goaled by Matalau, to lead 14-0.

The Gurias shot to a seemingly-unassailable 20-0 lead in the 45th minute with a corner try to winger Boas Ruru, which was goaled by Matalau.

The Mioks’ never-say-die attitude showed after that as they scored tried through winger Miok Anjo in the 49th minute and prop Esau Siune in the 60th minute, which was goaled by halfback Mai Tom, to trail 20-10.

Rabaul, with machine-like efficiency, drove the final nail into Enga’s coffin with a 71st minute try to Ruru to complete his double.

The Mioks had some consolation on the hooter with a try to winger Jason Tali, however, it was all too little, too late.

Gurias’ hooker Sakias Kabange capped off a memorable day by being named man-of-the-match.

Governor General Sir Paulias Matane, who happens to be from the land of the Gurias, presented the inaugural bemobile Cup to Gurias’ captain George Moni as a prelude to celebrations.

The cup was delivered by helicopter to the paddock to be unveiled by its designer, 13-year-old Port Moresby student, Florence Metta.

A capacity crowd jam-packed the Lloyd Robson Oval to witness yesterday’s grand final.


bemobile Cup Grand Final Day in pictures

First pictures of Rabaul Gurias' bemobile Cup win

Gurias win bemobile Cup

Rabaul Gurias have just taken out the bemobile Cup with a 24-14 ousting of Enga Mioks at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby.

Story and pictures to come.

I'm off to the footy!

I’m off to the footy to see who wins the bemobile Cup.

Keep watching this blog.





Friday, October 16, 2009

bemobile Cup Grand Final Day Programme

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby

11am Band commences interlude of entertainment between games
11.20am Curtain-raiser women’s match (1)
12.30pm Band commences interludes of entertainment between games
12.50pm Curtain-raise women’s match (2)
2pm Pre-match entertainment
2.20pm Arrival of Governor General Sir Paulias Matane
2.30pm Team arrivals
2.40pm Teams warm up on field
2.45pm Toss with Referee
2.47pm Teams run out and line up
- Dignitaries walk out
- National Anthem
- Balloon release
2.55pm Kick off by the Governor General
3.00pm Official kick off
3.40pm Watete Theatre Company
3.50pm Second half kick off
4.40pm Presentation by Governor General, PNG National Rugby League Chairman Don Fox and bemobile Chairman Anthony Smare

Joe Tokam quietly keeps bemobile Cup wheels turning

By KEITH PUARIA of The National, Papua New Guinea's No. 1 daily newspaper

The beMobile Cup grand final on Sunday between the Toyota Enga Mioks and the NGIP Agmark Gurias will bring the curtain down on Season 2009, however, work does not stop behind the scenes.
 Long-serving rugby league man, Joe Kuman Tokam (pictured), has been very much a part of the game since hanging up his boots in 1983.
Mr Tokam is operations manager of Papua New Guinea’s premier rugby league competition, the bemobile Cup.
With the Enga Mioks remaining in Port Moresby after their preliminary win against the Goroka Lahanis last Sunday, and the Gurias set to arrive before the end of the week, technical preparations outside of the playing field have been at full throttle for the competition management team and Tokam in particular.
“Apart from the tussle expected between the two sides on centre stage, we are going flat out before the day, making sure everything is in place, everything technical accounted for, and every little area in sight”, he said.
The competition, since its commencement on June 21 has gone according to schedule, according to Tokam, with no real major concern for organisers, and this weekend will be no different.
“The game has come a long way from the previous years,” he said.
“Apart from the incidents that have been much publicised during the season, and steered away from the main show, it has been a much better year than the past.”
Gates at the Lloyd Robson Oval are set to open at 8am with a bumper programme featuring junior games, women’s games and a whole lot more.

St Francis student wins bemobile Cup design competition

Caption: bemobile Cup designer Florence Metta receives her K10, 000 from bemobile chairman Anthony Smare

By STELLA BITA of bemobile
Thirteen-year-old Florence Metta, a Grade Six student at  St Francis Primary School in Koki in the nation’s Capital was declared the winner of the ‘bemobile design the cup competition’ by a panel of judges at the bemobile headquarters on Sept 28.
The nine-week competition that ended on Aug 31 attracted hundreds of entries from students from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
bemobile, through chairman Anthony Smare, was on the lookout for a design that was more on a local front and would appeal to the public and promote the image of the semi-professional competition.
On Wednesday Oct 7, a bemobile team headed by Mr Smare and chief commercial officer Chris Raps went to the school and surprised students and staff on the school’s greatest achievement.
A jubilant principal was lost for words upon hearing that one of his pupils had just won K35, 000 by entering the ‘design the bemobile Cup competition:  K25, 000  for the school to provide and maintain educational resources and facilities and K10, 000 as a trust fund account to go towards Ms Metta’s school fees in the coming years.
Her design is currently with a local manufacturing firm which is in the construction phase of the new bemobile Cup.
Ms Metta’s design will be unveiled at the presentation of the grand final awards on Sunday.
Ms Metta, accompanied by her aunt Solange, will be there to unveil the 2009 bemobile Cup at the Lloyd Robson Oval.
She will be among a number of very senior dignitaries in the bemobile corporate box on Sunday.

Gurias' proud track record

Caption: The Gurias arriving at Kokopo with the then SP Cup in 2005


The NGIP Agmark Gurias (previously under different names) have been participating in the PNG intercity rugby league competion since its inception in 1990.

 Recruitments over the years have included the likes of John Waka, Kom Rumints, Peter Dun, Stanley Sukot, Menzie Yere, Opisa Pomba, Michael Angra, Ricky Sibiya, Michael Marum, Tuksy Karu, Chris Lome, Baltasa Lome, Raynold Balele, Dusty Mockley, Jessie Alunga, Andrew Buka, Rolly Matalau, Daniel Kulmat, Velarin Akeria, James Soatsin, Stanis Kale, Kelly Nopi and Giamuki Tau. 

Many of these players have either represented the Kumuls in the past or advanced on to represent the Kumuls.    

Gurias have had a good record over the history of the PNG Intercity Rugby League Competition, formerly known as the SP Cup, now known as the bemobile Cup.

 The Gurias’ proud history includes the following;


·        1999    -    Runners up                         Coached by Jeff Wade

·        2000    -    Runners up                         Coached by Jeff Wade

·        2001    -    Premiers                             Coached by Jeff Wade

·        2003    -    Premiers SP Shield  Coached by Michael  Marum with Wesley Wynm co-coach

·        2004    -    Runners Up SP Shield       Coached by Michael Marum with Wesley Wynm co-coach

·        2005    -    Premiers                             Coached by Norm Norris (NGIP Agmark took over)

·        2006    -    Finished 3rd                        Coached by Norm Norris

·        2007    -    Runners up                          Coached By Michael Marum

·        2008    -    Finished 4th                        Coached by Michael Marum


Muscleman David Mugarenang

Muscleman David Mugarenang, from Finschhafen, Morobe province, flexing his muscles at a bemobile Cup grand final dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Port Moresby last night.
Australian rugby league refereeing legend, Bill Harrigan, who will control Sunday's grand final between Enga Mioks and Rabaul Gurias, was the guest at the dinner and reminisced on his long and colouful career as a whistle-blower.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Mioks in crisis" - a myth


When the print media published at their prestigious back page a news story with a headline“Mioks in crisis” on the wholesale sacking of the team officials towards the end the first round of the bemobile Cup challenge, patrons of the team were obviously baffled.
Some of them said: “What the hell is going again”, while some said, “Just give up with this Mioks, and forget them”.
Such remarks were inevitable particularly following their daunting performance in the previous two years with allegations of rape and airport brawl incidents involving players of the team.
However, the patron and strong advocate of the team Governor Peter Ipatas and major sponsor, Ela Motors, were charily briefed by the board before the team manager, the head coach, trainer and three players were presented with their marching orders.
In fact, the board under the chairmanship of Robert Ganim, told the Governor and the sponsors that they were coming up with the hard decision on reasons directly related with discipline to protect the team.
Thus, the board did not waste time in recalling former coach Toksy Nema, expoliceman Peter Kapi as team manager and former Kumul Centre Paul Gela and young Norman Simon of the Wabag rugby league as trainers.
They were given clear instructions before allowing them to take charge of the team with strong emphasis on discipline and commitment while telling the players not to stick their nose into the board’s decision.
Soon after the changes, the team went on to record rousing victories against most resilient teams like Mt Hagen Eagles, Mendi Muruks and Lae Bombers as there was apparent sign of desirable improvement in discipline among officials and players.
When the team continued on with its winning spree in matches both at home and in Lae with credible score lines, any speculation that the team was heading for a disaster started to disappear as thousands of Engans from four corners of the province flooding into Johnson Siki oval on Sundays to grant the much-needed support, receptively led by their illustrious provincial leaders including Governor Ipatas, Paul Kurai, Gutnius Lutheran Church Bishop Rev David Piso, Yasua Kome, senior public servants, Wabag town residents and other prominent figures.
In fact, the team that absurd critics and the media speculated to be heading for a disaster received supplementary morale boost when the small business houses in the province, the meticulous public servants and their gracious cosponsor, the Enga provincial government committed over K100,000 to subsidise entrance (gate) fees to encourage more people to come and watch and provide their support in the last four home games which gainfully saw Mioks recording an all out win of their home games to comfortably finish second on the competition ladder of the first ever bemobile Cup with 20 points after Rabaul Guira on 22.
The excitement among local supporters did not stop in Wabag when the competition authorities scheduled all Toyota Mioks final matches against Mendi Muruks, Goroka Lahanis and Masta Mak Rangers to be played in Lae.
The supporters in the province swiftly mobilised themselves with over 200-500 vehicles including 40 buses and booked out hotels and guest houses in Lae to urge their much-loved team on, which consequently saw the Muruks and Rangers getting belted out of the race while narrowly losing to Lahanis before they paid back in the major semi final showdown last Sunday in Port Moresby with a convincing 18-10 score line.
Despite the victories, particularly with the excitement reaching greatest heights, there were instances of disasters including three car accidents along the Highlands Highway involving over 50 men and women who sustained minor injuries, smashing of car windscreens by hooligans on the road during night travels and lavish spending of their money on the trips to Lae, the enthusiasm continued to become an overriding factor.
Added to the strong support base in Enga were sincere backing by people from the five Highlands provinces including a faction of Sepiks in Lae as the Toyota Mioks team this year is composed extensively of players from various parts of the Highlands region.
Not only the Highlands region but it has also players from Lae where one of them is from Sepik or better known as "a Sepik from Lae" .
In this way, when the team wins, grand celebrations are held in Mt Hagen, Mendi, Kagua, Jiwaka, Goroka, Asaro, Henganofi, Enga, Kundiawa, Sinasina and Lae where the players’ relatives and supporters live.On the whole, when the players were recruited from the popular Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup in the beginning of this year (before the competition started), to make it to the grand final was not in their mind as the players were from unknown rural leagues.
But Governor Ipatas told them during a Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup presentation night in Wabag after the new team was announced that one of the reasons for forming the Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup was to tap into the hidden talent in the rural sector of the country to give equal opportunity to those who had been overlooked for many years.
He said he had all the confidence that his new team would become competitive in the bemobile Cup challenge.
“I have all the confidence that you will become a competitive team with players from the towns that are participating in the semi professional team. Lift your heads and think positive towards taking on this challenge,” he told the players.
After that, Governor Ipatas held a meeting where he made a few changes to the membership of the board and gave them the challenge of taking on the new team to be successful in the competition.
Despite Governor Ipatas’ confidence in his team, the team under the circumstance started as underdogs with a bunch of unknown players.
However, Governor Ipatas and his new board kept holding their heads high with regular meeting and doing what they thought was best to shape up the team with the aim of proving all critics wrong one day.
Congratulations to Governor Ipatas and his hard working board members, sponsors and supporters for basically doing that (proving critics including the media wrong) when they emerged from nowhere in the competition to be on the top to make the grand final of the prestigious bemobile Cup.
The Toyota Miok board deserves a special credit for taking one of the biggest risks ever to endorse a wholesale sacking of the officials, which later paid off with the greatest reward of seeing a bunch of unknown players beating all odds to qualify eventually for the grand final of the exalted bemobile Cup.
As the two teams, Toyota Mioks and Rabaul Agmark Guria, are moving closer to the greatest showdown on Sunday, the supporters in both camps are gearing up to cheer on their teams, while the Mioks in particular think that if they were the first to bury the Gurias in their own graveyard in 2000 in the former SP Cup with an 8-6 score line in Kokopo before they went onto belt them further with 20-16 in the grand final in the same year, they should be confident of repeat that on Sunday.
Well, let’s wait and see the best team wins.

*Philip Kepson is publicity officer of the Enga Mioks