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Dabaris Junior League heading into finals

The Skel Rice Central Dabaris Junior League competition heated up as the first elimination finals began on Monday, October 9, 2023, at Bava Park in Port Moresby.

This saw the second and third placings of the top three teams in each of the four pools (A, B, C, and D), and divisions, under 14, 16, 18, and 20, met each other in thrilling challenges that kept fans on their feet to witness a display of young rugby league skills and talents.

The elimination final was fiercely contested between the teams which saw players showcasing the code of rugby league in full display. Each team fought very hard and was determined to secure a spot in the preliminary final.

Eventually, the show went down to the wire, with the draws to be updated later, so the winners will face off against the first-placed teams, who have already earned their spots in the preliminary final matches, which are coming up this Saturday, 14th October 2023.

After the preliminary final on Saturday, the winners of each pool qualify for the top four and will face off against each other in the semi-finals, and then the anticipated grand final follows at a later date.

Central Dabaris Junior League Director, Gomara Ahuta, predicted that the Yobuna-Koiri Team and Tubusereia Sharks will face each other in the U-14 Grand Final. The U-16 Grand Final will likely be contested between the Mt. Koiari Rangers and Siabo Traders. The U-18 Grand Finals will likely be contested between Koita Ramis and Cape Rodney, and the U-20 Grand Finals are expected to be between Nigibada Rhinos and Tubusereia Sharks.

Additionally, this competition essentially serves as a development program to build juniors, who come from various districts of Central Province - Magi Highway, Hiri-West, Aroma, Goilala, and Koiari, to name a few.

Mr. Ahuta also stated that the competition is beneficial for developing talents. One such example of young talents that came through this league program is Gabriel Kaupa, who was selected to join the Junior Kumuls.

“This competition is very important because it helps us to identify, develop, and expose raw talents. We have the highest number (8 boys) that form the Southern Confederate U-20 team from the 20-men squad. Gabriel Kaupa is a product of this development program,” Ahuta said.

"If a player performs well in under 18 or 20, and we see that he is consistently improving, we will give them the opportunity to join the Central Dabaris Premier team," said Ahuta.

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