Funeral procession for Ottio deferred

In statement released this afternoon, the PNGRFL said: “Late Kato Ottio's final journey to Tatana did not proceed this afternoon as planned following some disgruntled relatives disputing his final resting place, among other things, at the gates of the funeral home.

“Kato's eldest brother, Henry Ottio, who flew in from America yesterday, spoke to the disgruntled persons but they stood firm and threatened to close the gate until their demands were properly addressed.

Trust fund to fulfil Ottio’s dream

Before officially handing over the body to Ottio’s family at the funeral service held today, Chairman of the PNGRFL, Sandis Tsaka, said the Kato Ottio Trust Fund was opened yesterday.

He said Ottio had always dreamt of building a house for his mother, Joyce, and the PNGRFL wanted to make this dream come true in honour of the late SP Hunters and PNG LNG Kumuls star.

Tsaka welcomed contributions from the general public who wish to assist by depositing money into the Trust Fund.

He said the account will be closed next Thursday, January 18, at 12pm.

PNGRFL: We will give him the respect he rightfully deserves

Ottio’s career was just taking off with the 23 year old due to leave England this Thursday along with Wellington Albert after signing with Super League club, Widnes Vikings.

Chairman of the PNGRFL, Sandis Tsaka said Kato’s death had come as shock to all, adding the PNGRFL had been with him all the way since he was hospitalized last Sunday up until late last night.

“We did everything we could to make sure he was well looked after. We were hoping for a full recovery but unfortunately he passed on.

Wan cleared by Australian court

Wan was detained by New South Wales police after the Pacific Test back in May of this year to answer to a Sydney courthouse over allegations of sexual assault.

“After seven months in Australia, his trial was finally held in November and a week ago, the court acquitted him and found him not guilty of the allegations of sexual assault.

“This is very great outcome for rugby league. The PNGRFL stood behind Henry from the start until the end of the case and with the support of the NRL, we are able to make this announcement now.

PNGRFL: 2017 Digicel Cup comp a success so far

Rau made this statement at a joint press conference between the PNG NRLC and the PNGRFL on Thursday.

Rau said the 2017 Digicel Cup competition has been successful so far this season.

“The Digicel Cup is the most important domestic competition we have. I thank the PNG NRLC for successfully running this competition this year under the new structure.

He said the PNG NRLC choosing to have the finals separate from the Intrust Super Cup made a lot of sense.

Hunters to host semi-final

PNGRFL CEO, Reatau Rau, said this confirmation was received yesterday after the Hunters claimed the minor premiership following their 28-22 win over Wynnum Manly Seagulls on the weekend.  

“QRL Competitions Manager, Dave Maiden, in an email advised that the week 2 semi-final will definitely be held in Port Moresby,” said Rau.

“The SP Hunters opponents could be either be the Redcliffe Dolphins or Easts Tigers. This will be determined after the final round this weekend.”

Our love for rugby jerseys…

Clothing store Jack’s of PNG, now three months into selling the PNGRFL Hunters and Kumuls’ range, will confirm this.

One area of the shop is full of the colours black, red and gold. These are not just the national colours but that of the supporter rugby jerseys, vests, caps and other accessories of the two rugby league teams.

PNGRFL had signed a contract with local company Pacific Sport Multi-media as the licensed company to produce and manufacture clothing with the team designs and logos.

PSM gave the license to Jack’s of PNG to manufacture and sell.

PNGRFL condemns attack on Dr Kendino

Chief Executive Officer, Reatau Rau said Dr Kendino was at the Paradise Hospital to pick up medical reports for some SP Hunters players when he was held up and shot at by thugs.

“We condemn this attack on the well- respected doctor in the strongest possible term.

“And we hope the criminals are caught and given the punishment they deserve.”

 “He is in a stable condition and his fellow doctors at Port Moresby General Hospital are attending to him,” Rau said.

Digicel Cup on bye

Competition manager for PNG NRLC, Stanley Hondina, said this was to allow the eight franchise coaches, assistant coaches and head trainers to attend a course in Port Moresby that started today and will end on Sunday.

The bye is in line with the PNGRFL calendar, which includes the SP Hunters.

He said Australian NRL development officers David Westley and Paul Hamson are facilitating the course at the National Football Stadium.

Both facilitators are NRL certified and courses conducted will be of NRL standard.

PNGRFL aware of incident involving Kumuls player

However, as per legal advice, a formal media release will be issued as soon as all processes are completed by the police and courts in Australia.

“The matter is before the courts and as such, PNGRFL will be making no further comment until the matter is finalised,” said Chairman of the PNGRFL, Sandis Tsaka.

More details to follow…