Rugby League BY SIMON KESLEP Kimbe Cutters resumed training this week in preparation for next month’s (July 5) Digicel Cup 2020 season kick off. This was according to team manager who is also Kimbe Rugby League Association president Freddy Kumai when contacted on Wednesday. This season will mark the club’s second stint in the country’s semi-professional competition since their debut alongside fellow newcomers Central Dabaris last season. “The lockdown has affected our preparations and most of the players were not exposed to training for the last two months. We had a meet with trainers and coaching staff to now get the team back on track within the next three weeks before the first game,” said Kumai. Last week, the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League and PNG NRL Competition hosted a Covid-19 Training workshop and advised teams on the new-norm with regards to how the competition will kick-off and abiding to state-of-emergency Covid-19 protocols. “We did a briefing with the team on Monday (June 8) afternoon, team doctors went through all players’ standard protocols and the team and the league as a whole. We are complying with the protocols now, observing and making sure that we meet all the required procedures and do them correctly. We are working with two doctors; Dr George Pariwa (PHA Physician PHA Kimbe) and Dr. Lohia (Medical doctor PHA Kimbe),” said Kumai. He said protocols like temperature checks is very important with first check conducted on Monday until Wednesday. Players with higher temperatures (beyond the normal human body temperatures) were asked to stay out of the oval but under observation including further check-ups. Kumai said Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and standard protocols has brought positive lessons like improving hygiene of players, learning something new with regards to players’ welfare, basic procedures of healthcare and also advocating these health lessons to their immediate families and communities. As per revised 2020 Digicel Cup season Draw, Cutters will play their first game against Kroton Hela Wigmen on July 5 in Port Moresby. There will only be 11 weeks round robin format, top six only advancing into finals and the grand final set for October 11 as per the revised draw. “We are expecting three SP PNG Hunters players – Steven Bruno is already on the ground while awaiting two more (names yet to be officially confirmed).” “Yes, we are very excited to bring those experienced players so that it will add more experience to our local players,” said Kumai.