Papua New Guinea National Rugby League

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PNGNRL Digicel Cup
Digicel Cup logo.pong.png
Sport Rugby league
Formerly known as SP Cup (1990–05)
Bemobile Cup (2009–10)
Digicel Cup (2011–present)
Instituted 2005
Inaugural season 1990 (as SP Cup)
Number of teams 11
Country Papua New Guinea
Premiers Hela Wigmen (2014)
Most titles Port Moresby Vipers (4 titles)
Mendi Muruks (4 titles)

The Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (or the PNGNRL for short, for sponsorship reasons the PNGNRL Digicel Cup) is a semi-professional rugby league competition held annually in Papua New Guinea. Formerly known as the SP Inter-City Cup or SP Cup (1990–2008) and later the Bemobile Cup (2009–2010) after changes in sponsorship. The current competition is sponsored by pacific telecommunications giant Digicel and is now known as the Digicel Cup.


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 4 clubs at the end of the rounds entering play-offs, culminating in a Grand Final held in the capital city Port Moresby.

The 2005 season had 8 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.

In 2009 local mobile telecommunication Company, Bemobile, took over from SP Brewery as the competitions major sponsor. Currently 9 teams compete in the competition.[1]

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.[2]

Sponsorship Names[edit]

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


2015 Digicel Cup Teams
Team Stadium City/Area
Mendi Muruks Joseph Keviame Oval Mendi, Southern Highlands Province
Agmark Gurias Kalabond Oval Kokopo, East New Britain Province
Goroka Lahanis National Sports Institute Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province
Port Moresby Vipers Lloyd Robson Oval Port Moresby
Enga Mioks Johnson Siki Aipus Oval Wabag, Enga Province
Hela Wigmen Lae League Oval Tari Hela Province
Waghi Tumbe Minj Oval Minj, Jiwaka Province
Lae Snax Tigers Lae League Oval Lae, Morobe 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 18-16 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+ [3]
2011 Goroka Lahanis Rabaul Gurias 20-10 20,000+ [4]
2012 Rabaul Gurias Mendi Muruks 14-10 20,000+ [5]
2013 Port Moresby Vipers Goroka Lahanis 36-14 20,000+[6]
2014 Hela Wigmen Agmark Gurias 34-8
2015 Rabaul Gurias TNA Simbu Lions 26-18 20,000+[7]
2016 Lae Snax Tigers Rabaul Gurias 14-8 20,000+[8]
2017 Lae Snax Tigers Rabaul Gurias 11-1 20,000+[9]
  • Competition not held that year


External links[edit]