Kaufusi has signed for next season with the option of an additional year while Welch has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal to remain in Melbourne.The re-signing of the young props is yet another significant boost for Storm’s forward pack.Kaufusi and Welch join teammates Dale Finucane, Joe Stimson and Jesse and Kenny Bromwich as the latest big men to re-sign with Storm.Welch, 22, has played 33 games in the purple jersey including last year’s NRL Grand Final.Over the last two years his aggressive style of play has proved a real asset for Melbourne. This season has seen Kaufusi break into Craig Bellamy’s starting side.The 24-year-old Tongan international has played every minute, of every game this season, taking his opportunity in the second row with both hands.Read more at melbournestorm.com.au
According to emails circulated to the respective franchise teams by Hela Wigmen executive management yesterday morning, they could not travel to Wabag, Enga Province, due to internal issues in their camp in Mendi.The messages further stated that they finally succumbed to forfeiture after their last minute attempt to request Enga Mioks management, through PNGNRL, to exercise understanding by moving the game to another venue, became unsuccessful.The message further stated that it had nothing to do with security reasons.According to reliable sources, a group of people from Mendi threatened to harm Wigmen players and officials if they travelled to Wabag. The group allegedly would not allow them through without sorting out customary issues with various government institutions. This was over the alleged killing of a university student in Lae recently.Enga Mioks board chairman Philip Kepson described the situation as unfortunate as his team, including the general public, were looking forward to the game that was planned to coincide with the recently introduced Agiru Cup.Kepson said though his team was awarded the two points, his management missed out on other important benefits, mainly revenue from gate taking.It’s understood Agiru Cup and the cash prize of K5000 will be awarded to the Enga Mioks.The Enga team will maintain the third position on the competition ladder with the two points. They will be on bye next week before playing Waghi Tumbe in Minz in their final game before the top five are announced.