Rugby League By JOHN PANGKATANA Title holders Tox Mix Dogs affirmed their favoritism for the playoffs following their grinding 6-0 win over determined Koiari Osisi in the last round of matches for the NCD, Hiri and Goilala leg at the Murray Barracks Oval in Port Moresby. While seven teams in the A grade competition have confirmed their slots in the elimination playoffs set for September 15-16, for the Central Province Premier League (CPPL) competition. The Tokarara outfit scored the only try of the tight contest through stylish fullback David Maira to claim the win and head into the playoffs with the favoritism tag. They now join Gordon Dragons and Koki Amazon Bay Seagulls to enter the elimination stage under the NCD banner. For Hiri will be Koiari Osisi and Lealea Sharks and for Goilala, the Nuggets and Karukas have two weeks to prepare for the next stage. NCD, Hiri and Goilala games coordinator Ahmed Nissar yesterday confirmed that these seven teams for the men’s A grade, plus the eight female teams are confirmed for the playoffs. Nisaar added that the U-20’s competition also proved to be vibrant one this season, and expects the playoffs for those that qualified to be even better. CPPL competition director Murray Peto further clarified that the remaining five slots for the 12 team elimination challenge will come from the Kairuku (x3) and Aroma Coast (x2) intra-district competitions. “Aroma Coast should confirm their finalists by their last round of matches on Wednesday (tomorrow) and Kairuku by their last round of matches by this Friday at Bereina Station.” Peto added. Vewala Pelegai look to be the top team from the Aroma Coast after Paul Olema scored the winning try to beat AC Keakalo 14-10, while in the Kairuku leg, Inauabui Hawks and Hisiu Knights are certainties after huge wins over Eboa Tigers and Beowaiki. During a meeting of team’s and coordinators yesterday, they all confirmed to be geared for the playoffs which will be staged at the Murray Barracks Oval during the Independence weekend. “Once all the 12 teams for the A grade and U-20’s are confirmed this week, we will sort who will play who in the first knock-out stage.” Peto added. CPPL chairman Jack Kedea commended all teams for making it this far into the competition and looked forward to another exciting finals series. He further said there are plans in place for the intra-district challenge following the finals, which will form the basis of the player’s selection into the CPPL elite squad to prepare for representative duties. “The selection committee is in place so I urge players to show-cause why our selectors should pick you for you to make our finals series more interesting.” Kedea added.