Papua New Guinea National Rugby League

The Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (or the PNGNRL for short, for sponsorship reasons the PNGNRL Digicel-ExxonMobil Cup) is a semi-professional rugby league competition held annually in Papua New Guinea. Changes in sponsorship have meant it was Formerly known as the SP Inter-City Cup or SP Cup (1990–2008) and later the Bemobile Cup (2009–2010). The current competition is sponsored by pacific telecommunications giant Digicel and new co-naming rights sponsor ExxonMobil[1] (one of the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas companies) which joined in 2023 and so it is currently called the Digicel-ExxonMobil Cup.[2]

PNGNRL Digicel-ExxonMobil Cup
Current season or competition:
2023 PNGNRL season
SportRugby league
Formerly known asSP Cup (1990–2005)
Bemobile Cup (2009–10)
Digicel Cup (2011–2022)
Digicel-ExxonMobil Cup (2023–present)
Instituted2005
Inaugural season1990 (as SP Cup)
ChairStanley Hondina
Number of teams12
CountryPapua New Guinea
PremiersEnga Mioks (2023)
Most titlesRabaul Gurias (6 titles)

History edit

Previous to 2005 the PNG NRL was called the SP Inter-City Cup. The national competition was known as the SP Cup, and has been held since 1990. No competition was held in 2004 due to financial problems and province violence in certain provinces. But the competition returned for 2005 season as the new-look PNGNRL. Much like the new PNGNRL format the old SP Inter-City Cup had teams competing in a format much like the Australian National Rugby League format, with the top four clubs at the end of the rounds entering play-offs, culminating in a Grand Final held in the capital city Port Moresby.[citation needed]

The 2005 season had eight teams in total from all around Papua New Guinea. In 2006 one team got relegated (Monier Broncos) to make way for two new teams, Central Raiders and Pagini Warriors. The inaugural winner of the competition was the Agmark Gurias who beat the Brian Bell Bulldogs in Port Moresby. In the short history of the tournament the competition has shown high levels of rugby league play in Papua New Guinea.[citation needed]

In 2009 local mobile telecommunication Company, Bemobile, took over from SP Brewery as the competitions major sponsor. Currently 9 teams compete in the competition.[3]

 
Logo 2011–2022

On February 9, 2011, telecommucations company Digicel who has taken over the industry in PNG since its operation started in 2007, announced that it will be sponsoring PNG's premier sporting event for the next five years.[4]

Sponsorship Names edit

  • SP Inter-City Cup – (1990–2008)
  • Bemobile Cup – (2009–10)
  • Digicel Cup – (2011–2022)
  • Digicel-ExxonMobil Cup -- (2023 -- present)

Teams edit

2023 Digicel Cup Teams
Team Stadium City/Area
Central Dabaris Oil Search National Football Stadium Port Moresby, National Capital District
Enga Mioks Johnson Siki Aipus [1] Wabag, Enga Province
Goroka Lahanis National Sports Institute [2] Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province
Gulf Isou Oil Search National Football Stadium Kerema, Gulf Province
Hela Wigmen Oil Search National Football Stadium Tari Hela Province
Kimbe Cutters Muthuvel Stadium [3] Kimbe, West New Britain Province
Lae Snax Tigers Lae League Oval Lae, Morobe Province
Mendi Muruks Joseph Keviame Oval Mendi, Southern Highlands Province
Mt. Hagen Eagles Rebiamul Oval Mt. Hagen, Western Highlands Province
Port Moresby Vipers Oil Search National Football Stadium Port Moresby, National Capital District
Rabaul Gurias Kalabond Oval Kokopo, East New Britain Province
Sepik Pride Pora Oval Wewak, East Sepik Province

History of Premiers edit

Year Premiers Runners Up Score Attendance
1990 Port Moresby Vipers Mt Hagen Eagles 22–14 9,230
1991 Port Moresby Vipers Mt Hagen Eagles 18–18** 8,900
1992 Port Moresby Vipers Mt Hagen Eagles 36–0 12,112
1993 Goroka Lahanis Port Moresby Vipers 22–10 8,291
1994 Port Moresby Vipers Goroka Lahanis 36–30 8,011
1995 Lae Bombers Mendi Muruks 28–18 10,232
1996 Mendi Muruks Kundiawa Warriors 11–10 12,312
1997 Mt Hagen Eagles Lae Bombers 19–16 10,271
1998 Mt Hagen Eagles Mendi Muruks 14–6 9,278
1999 Goroka Lahanis Rabaul Gurias 24–0 10,812
2000 Enga Mioks Rabaul Gurias 36–20 14,123
2001 Rabaul Gurias Goroka Lahanis 18–2 10,912
2002 Lae Bombers Rabaul Gurias 14–12 12,321
2003 Rabaul Gurias Lae Bombers 17–16 12,381
2004* Mendi Menjals Popondetta Butterflies 22–0 12,322
2005 Rabaul Gurias Port Moresby Bulldogs 14–13 10,249
2006 Mendi Muruks Goroka Lahanis 19–14 12,021
2007 Mendi Muruks Rabaul Gurias 42–6 11,000+
2008 Mendi Muruks Mt Hagen Eagles 14–4 12,000+
2009 Rabaul Gurias Enga Mioks 24–14 15,000+
2010 Goroka Lahanis Mendi Muruks 21–10 20,000+ [5]
2011 Goroka Lahanis Rabaul Gurias 20–10 20,000+ [6]
2012 Rabaul Gurias Mendi Muruks 14–10 20,000+ [7]
2013 Port Moresby Vipers Goroka Lahanis 36–14 20,000+[8]
2014 Hela Wigmen Agmark Gurias 34–8
2015 Rabaul Gurias TNA Simbu Lions 26–18 20,000+[9]
2016 Lae Snax Tigers Rabaul Gurias 14–8 20,000+[10]
2017 Lae Snax Tigers Rabaul Gurias 11–10 20,000+[11]
2018 Goroka Lahanis Enga Mioks 10–6 20,000+[12]
2019 Lae Snax Tigers Hela Wigmen 15–4 20,000+[13]
2020 Hela Wigmen Lae Snax Tigers 16–14 [14]
2021 Lae Snax Tigers Waghi Tumbe 16–10 [15]
2022 Hela Wigmen Rabaul Gurias 8-6
2023 Enga Mioks Goroka Lahanis 26-6
  • Competition not held that year
    • Vipers win by virtue of scoring more tries

Performance by team edit

Team Win Runners Up Winning years Runners Up years
Rabaul Gurias 6 8 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2012, 2015 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2022
Goroka Lahanis 5 4 1993, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2018 1994, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2013,
Port Moresby Vipers 5 2 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2013 1993, 2005 (as Port Moresby Bulldogs)
Mendi Muruks 4 4 1996, 2006, 2007, 2008 1995, 1998, 2010, 2012
Lae Snax Tigers 4 1 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021 2020
Hela Wigmen 3 1 2014, 2020, 2022 2019
Mt Hagen Eagles 2 4 1997, 1998 1900, 1991, 1992, 2008
Lae Bombers 2 2 1995, 2002 1997, 2003
Enga Mioks 1 2 2000 2009, 2018
Mendi Menjals 1 0 2004
Waghi Tumbe 0 1 2021
Popondetta Butterflies 0 1 2004
TNA Simbu Lions 0 1 2015
Simbu Warriors 0 1 1996

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "ExxonMobil becomes co-sponsor of PNGNRL Digicel ExxonMobil Cup". 17 March 2023.
  2. ^ "Digicel Exxon Mobil Cup Launched". 14 April 2023.
  3. ^ "Bemobile Cup - PNG National Rugby League: About Bemobile Cup". Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Post-Courier Online". Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Sports news". Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  7. ^ EMTV Online (9 September 2012). "Gurias wins 2012 Digicel Cup Title". Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2018 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ "PNG's Number One Daily Newspaper! - The National". The National. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Gurias win 2015 Digicel Cup - Loop PNG". looppng.com. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Naru thanks Tigers for winning the 2016 Digicel Cup - Loop PNG". looppng.com. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Tigers are 2017 Digicel Cup champions! - Loop PNG". looppng.com. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Lahanis scoop coveted trophy! - Loop PNG". looppng.com. 2 September 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  13. ^ Patjole, Cedric (8 September 2019). "Lae Tigers ultimate 2019 winners". Loop PNG. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Wigmen avenge defeat – the National".
  15. ^ "Tigers Claim Fourth Premiership". 13 September 2021.

External links edit