THE Mendi Muruks have gone totally rural in a bid to bolster their chances for the 2014 Digicel Cup.
Franchise chairman Pastor Isaac Joseph will be looking not at the district level but at the sub-district level.
“This year, it was a last minute setup and we didn’t perform up to expectations,”Joseph said.
“But next year we want to do everything right by starting months ahead and we have the funding to do it right.”
Joseph said that while the use of hand grenades in a tribal fight in Kagua-Erave was still fresh, the two districts came together for a rugby league match.
“Imagine that. The tribal fight was still fresh yet both districts decided to throw away their differences for a game of rugby league while the spectators and public carried on as if nothing happened.”
He said Muruks preparations started three months ago with the franchise sponsoring each sub-district team with K1,000 each.
Twelve teams will be taking part, including Mendi I and II, Karinz, Magarima, Poroma, Kutubu, Imbonggu, Ialibu, Pangia, Kagua, Erave and Gobe.
Joseph said 2013 Muruks players were not guaranteed a spot in 2014.
Imbonggu MP Francis Awesa has thrown his support behind the first time initiative.
“This is a new initiative started by the Muruks franchise. We will use this initiative to select our Mendi Muruks players and register our district teams with PNGRFL” Joseph said.
“We’ve spent 12 years outside, based in Lae for too long and it’s time we went back home, back to our roots.”
From the 12 teams a Mendi Blacks and Whites will be selected for the final showdown where the Muruks team 2014 will be chosen.
Kumuls and ex-Kumuls have been sent to each of their districts to prepare their own local boys to prepare for the trials with clinics setup three months ago for players, official and referees.
The games will be held from December 5-8 at the Joe Keviame Oval in Mendi.
Joseph is appealing to Southern Highlands elites everywhere to come in and support their own local boys.
“Throw in some funding for the love of the game and support a worthy cause to end violence, drugs and alcohol abuse,”Joseph said.
At the launching was CIVPAC Construction company managing director Dixie Pombe, Managing Director who sponsored the cup and will give K100,000 for the selection trials.
“We are truly a Southern Highlands people’s company. We have sponsored every Southern Highlands sporting team.”
Team manager Morgan Mendepo, backed Pombe. The National
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