They view it more as a positive component for the game’s development in the country and which can take the nation’s premier rugby league competition to a higher level.
Digicel Cup general manager Hubert Warupi yesterday said a strong working relationship had to be fostered and maintained between the PNG Rugby Football League, owners of the Q-Cup franchise and the PNG National Rugby League, organisers of the Digicel Cup.
Warupi he broke his silence on the advent of the PNG Queensland Cup franchise, saying: “We don’t see it as a threat – rather we are focusing on the positive effects the Q-Cup will bring to the game of rugby league in PNG, in particular on the Digicel Cup competition.”
He said they were focusing on the positive effects that would be generated rather than any negative impact the Q-Cup may have on the premier local competition.
He said some Digicel Cup franchises were bound to lose players to the Q-Cup franchise, which had already happened with several players picked in the final 25-member coming from Digicel Cup teams.
But the positive effects would be that it would open up opportunities for other players to make the step up into the Digicel Cup from club football, he said.
He said they wanted to create a strong working relationship with PNGRFL so that the Q-Cup made a significant contribution to the game’s development in the country.
Warupi said they had already created a dialogue with the PNGRFL and hopefully that could transpire into a solid relationship that could see Digicel Cup coach mentoring programmes, among other positive developments.
He said if that happened the standard of the competition would lift, giving players a more realistic benchmark to be competitive against other players on the world stage.
PNG, yet to announce its team name, will use Kokopo to stage home games but they will be played on Saturdays.
Sundays are the traditional Digicel Cup match day so there will not be any clash in gatetakings for the Kokopo Gurias.
While Warupi did not make any reference to it, it would be a smart move to devise his draw in such a way that the Gurias do not host games on the same weekend that Q-Cup games are scheduled for Kokopo.
The first Q-Cup home game for Kokopo is in March, while the Digicel Cup competition is expected to kick off in April.