With the semi-finals in three weeks’ time and the spots in the coveted top five still up for grabs; fans will be forced into crunching digits on their calculators to see if their team can make the finals.
A win in the Digicel Cup is awarded two points, one point each for a draw or a bye and no points for a loss. If teams are tied on points, Points Differential is then factored in whereby the difference of their Points For and Against is calculated and whichever team has a better percentage has a better standing then the other.
The defending premiers the Bintangor Goroka Lahanis who sit sixth on the ladder can still make the finals if the teams in the top five lose their remaining matches.
This weekend’s match ups will all have a bearing on the final make-up of the Top 5 with the Eagles hosting the resurgent Mendi Muruks and the grudge match of the Round between the Lahanis and Vipers to be played in Lae. With the Mioks and Gurias assured of a finals berth, the other four teams in contention will be locked in for the fight of their lives when they play each other this Sunday.
In Hagen, the Eagles will be looking to maintain their undefeated home record when the SBSL Mendi Muruks meet them in Hagen Township this Sunday. The Muruks will be fresh for the challenge ahead and will have the entire momentum heading into this clash with 5 consecutive victories under their belt that has propelled them into 3rd place.
Lahanis and Vipers match has been relocated to Lae, again due to NSI venue not being ready as per sanctions put on the venue by the PNGNRL. The Vipers broke their two game losing streaks with an unconvincing 19-18 win over the struggling Tigers and will need to muster all their strength to overhaul the Lahanis who have a happy hunting record at the Lae league oval.
In the Nation’s Capital, the Enga Mioks take on a Gulf Isapea side that will still have mental scars from last week’s shellacking at the hands of the rampant Gurias. The Mioks have always drawn a huge crowd and this weekend will be no different when they set foot at the home of rugby league, the Lloyd Robson oval
While in other matches, the Agmark Rabaul Gurias will be looking to put the visiting TNA Lions to the sword when they play in Kokopo on Sunday. The Gurias put on a clinical display of football to bury the Isapeas last week and the Lions would have learnt by now that they cannot afford to drop any balls against a red hot outfit such as the Gurias who can score tries from anywhere on the field.
The Snax Lae Tigers pick up easy points with a bye this weekend.
Meanwhile, the PNGNRL has been misreported by the media for the misconduct charges against Lae Snax Tigers Jerry Kutz and George Moni. The sanctions applied to both Moni and Kutz are for misconduct offences for “abusive and offensive language against match officials” thus bringing the game into disrepute and not for assault as it has been reported by the media.