THE Hela Wigmen are starting to prove they are premiership material in the Digicel Cup.
The Kemele-sponsored side claimed a major scalp in the glamour Agmark Gurias with their close 22-20 victory at the Rebiamul Oval in Mt Hagen on Sunday.
And to add to the wounds of the Gurias under new coach George Tobata, the Wigmen won without their strike players in playmaker Kewa Kili, dummy-half Charlie Wabo and former Kumuls Joseph Omai and George Moni.
Wigmen board chairman Andy Hetra, pictured, said it wasn’t an opportune time to test their depth in their playing stock, but it still paid off handsomely.
“The coaching staff decided to utilise their junior development players in Jeremy Ludwik and Gram Tiki on the wings, Paul Remzy at fullback, second row Lowi Maitabe and Tari product McKenzy Buka at halfback with rising star William Mone at five-eighth,” Hetra said,
“With the return of Stanton Albert from the PNG Under-19 tour also came off the bench with great affect,” he added. Hetra said they are all under 20 and best thing about it is they understand the structure and systems put in place by coach Stanley Hondina.
“It’s still early days yet, but a positive sign for the Wigmen for the future,” he added.
The Gurias who fielded an experienced pack with former Kumul Rodney Pora, Daniel Pai, Travis Waninara in the forwards and form centres Jackson Undie and Francis Paniu, were still not able to produce the form they are capable of.
However to the Gurias credit they kept pace with the Wigmen but unlike their past form, they are still not showing the grit in defence that they are known for.
This allowed the Wigmen to punch the wayward Guria defence at will to open holes for Ludwik, Tiki and live-wire dummy-half Weza Tenza, pictured, to take a handy 18-8 lead at half-time.
Despite the Gurias showing some fight following the break with tries Watson Boas and Waninara to take a 20-18 lead, they could not hold out the pacey Ludwik going in for his second try to seal the good win.
In the other match in Kundiawa, the TNA Simbu Lions continue their good form at their home-ground with an 8-4 win over the Prima/Dekenai Gulf Isapea at the Dickson Oval.
Meanwhile, Digicel Cup chief executive officer Hubert Warupi said Gulf Isapaea did not comply with the relevant process and therefore their cheating allegation levelled against Mt Hagen league officials was dismissed.
“I was advised on Sunday after game by Isapaea. Since judiciary chairman David Silovo was in Hagen, I instructed the Eagles and the Isapaea’s management to meet with Silovo and resolve the matter. The Eagles turned up while the Isapea did not,” Warupi said.
Warupi said no official complaint in writing was forwarded to PNGNational Rugby League, and as such the Isapea were deemed non-compliant with the with process and their case was dismissed.
Rugby League News by Category
Bringing all the latest rugby league news in PNG. If you want to contribute to this site with articles relating to sports please contact us here
Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36