Category Archives: Sports

Let The Games Begin

BY NICOLE JOANNES ( Post Courier )

Skydivers jumping from 6000 feet with the huge PNG flag followed by a colourful display of fireworks are part of the grand opening of the 7th BSP PNG Games in the West New Britain capital Kimbe tomorrow.

The day will begin with a traditional canoe that will leave Kulungi beach carrying chiefs from Talasea to the San Remo beach, not far from the main stadium.

The chiefs will be received by Governor Sasindran Muthuvel, mayor Jackson Endo and a Bakovi chief Gabriel Bakani, a cultural significance that the chiefs are releasing the sporting facilities for the PNG Games to be held.

All provincial teams will then assemble at Independence Park where they will experience “Pasin West” during which they will be given foodstuff and a pig each.

All teams will then move to the main Muthuvel Stadium for the provincial teams marchpast and speeches to be followed by skydiving and fireworks.

Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae will officially open the 7th BSP PNG Unity Games.

A total of 16 teams have confirmed their attendance, with four teams – National Capital District, Central, East New Britain and Morobe – already in Kimbe. Teams New Ireland, Western, Enga and Hela, Western Highlands and Jiwaka have not confirmed their participation.

The Games will begin on Monday, November 20, and a total of 24 codes will be played. The Games end on December 2 with the Queen’s baton relay.


O’Neill: Come in Red, Gold and Black

The National


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill is calling on people attending the match against the US Hawks on Sunday to turn up in the national colours of red, black and gold.

He urged the nation to send off the Kumuls to Melbourne for the Rugby League World Cup quarterfinals next week on a high.

On the first two matches against Wales and Ireland, he said: “It was great to see mums and dads, together with their children, attending the two games and supporting the PNG LNG Kumuls”.

“These are proud moments for us as a country of a thousand tribes, but united by a one common theme – rugby league.”
O’Neill said hosting the three matches had provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase Papua New Guinea to the world through live television coverage to more than 100 countries with an estimated television audience of 25 million.

“Papua New Guinea sends our very best wishes to the PNG LNG Kumuls against the United States, and also in the quarter finals in Melbourne,” O’Neill said.

Kumuls Hold off Gritty Irish in Scrappy Clash

By ISAAC LIRI  ( The National )


PAPUA New Guinea maintained their top spot in Pool C of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup after overcoming a fearless Ireland 14-6 in Port Moresby yesterday.

With the home side leading 8-6 most of the second half with the visitors threatening to spoil the party for the Kumuls, a fumble by Wolfhounds prop Kyle Amor in the 78th saw Kumuls halfback Watson Boas kick through the loose ball and win the race to the line to seal a tight win and ensure coach Michael Marum’s men make the quarterfinals with a game left to go in the pool stage.

Marum described the game afterwards as tough and scrappy with a lot of incomplete sets brought about by handling errors, poor ball security and some brutal defence by Ireland, who were led solidly by halfback Liam Finn.

“We expected the Irish to come hard at us but full credit to the boys for hanging in there with their defence,” Marum said.

“A lot of work needs to be done to get rid of those errors. We made 20 errors and we’ll work on that at training this week,” Marum said.

A disappointed but proud Ireland coach Mark Aston described the match as grand-final like, giving credit to his boys for standing up against the Kumuls.

“This game was like a grand final and both teams wanted the prize and we could have won it and our boys stood up and I think the Kumuls played well and they got out of jail today, we pushed hard and I’m proud of my boys and what we got out of this game,” Aston said.

Having good field position in the opening minutes of the first half, the visitors were first to draw points on the board with an early try from hooker Michael McIlorum, who scored off a mistake on the PNG line fielding a Finn bomb in the 7th minute of the game for a 6-0 lead.

The Kumuls came back firing when in some good field positions but coughed up their opportunities until the 17th minute when Castleford Tigers-bound Garry Lo dodged and weaved his way to the try line.

Lock Rhyse Martin failed to add the extras in windy conditions for the home side to trail 6-4.

The Kumuls added another try through St George Illawarra Dragons centre Nene Macdonald to lead 8-6 at the break.

The second half was a brutal 40 minutes as both sides traded hard tackles in the middle third of the field while trying to gain some ascendency.

It took a mistake by Ireland in the dying stages to give PNG the opening they needed and No.7 Boas obliged.

“Watson scored off an error and we were lucky there but we want to see our boys play better than that in the future,” Marum said.

PNG Kumuls 14 (Garry Lo, Nene Macdonald, Watson Boas tries; Ase Boas con) Ireland 6 (Michael McIlorum try; Liam Finn con) H/T: PNG 8 Ireland 6. Crowd: 14,800

Interesting perspective from the UK

UK Media


We UK Rugby League fans have waited a long, long time to finally see a full, live telecast of a game from PNG…and let me tell you it didn’t disappoint!

It wasn’t just the scintillating, adrenaline-pumping Kumuls performance we enjoyed, it was the colour and excitement of the whole occasion.

Make no mistake, to witness a Kumuls game in Port Moresby has just jumped to the top of a few sporting ‘bucket-lists’, including my own!

As the clock counted down on the big-screen, you could just feel the collective air of fervour and, for the next 80 minutes, the Port Moresby crowd generated one of the most exhilarating atmospheres I’ve ever heard at a sporting occasion!

The way you guys cheer and scream at every Kumuls carry and collision is amazing, whilst the crescendo of noise which greeted every PNG try was enough to give a dead dog goosebumps!

It’s was evident from the moment the Kumuls let rip in those early exchanges, that there was only going to be one (very convincing) winner. To be frank, the Welsh looked like ‘trapped rabbits in the headlights’ and any game-plan they may have harboured quickly went out the window once they felt the full ferocity of those bone-crunching early collisions.

And yet amid all the devout, tribalistic support of those heroes in yellow, how magnificent it was to see the whole crowd rise as one to applaud off the field the stricken young Welshman, Chester Butler, after he was badly-concussed trying to tackle a steamroller called Enoch Maki!

None of this was in the script for the (thankfully) ever-dwindling band of UK dinosaurs, stuck in a 1980’s time warp, who were oblivious to the giant steps PNG has made. Some were still expecting to tune in and witness riots, tear-gas and ‘tree-men’ within a ramshackle stadium!

Let me tell you, the whole occasion and the manner of the Kumuls win has definitely got RL fans talking in the UK, with bookmakers slashing the Kumuls odds to now pair them alongside Fiji as the fifth most likely team to win this World Cup behind the traditional ‘big three’ and Tonga.

And a message for those of you who still fret about the Kumuls lowly position in those ludicrous World Rankings which nobody outside of PNG take any notice of; You should realise the bookmakers odds represent a much more accurate reflection of where the Kumuls realistically sit in the World pecking-order – that’s somewhere between fifth and seventh!

So, all in all, a magnificent weekend for PNG. The Rugby League world has now seen for itself that the country has moved on…and so has its team!


Kumuls Slay Dragons

By ISAAC LIRI ( The National )


THE Papua New Guinea Kumuls started their 2017 Rugby League World Cup campaign in style with a 50-6 thrashing of Wales in their Pool C fixture on Saturday.

A record was set for the PNG LNG Kumuls in their lop-sided result at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby in front of 14,800 people.

It was PNG’s first win over Wales after three losses, the first of which was a 68-0 humiliation in Swansea 26 years ago.

Local fans celebrated as the Michael Marum-coached side ran in 10 tries in a dominant performance.

The Kumuls conceded a consolation try in the 80th minute to Dragons winger Regan Grace, who capitalised on a botched take in goal by Garry Lo.

Aside from that blemish, the home side’s defence was up to the mark with the Dragons struggling to come to terms with the conditions as well as the style of the Kumuls.

Kumuls skipper David Mead became the first PNG player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup.

“Obviously we will take a lot of confidence out of this game but we still believe that we got to improve in terms of our attack and defence and we were talking about that when we came off the field and there are couple of things which we can fix up and improve,” a gracious Mead said.

“The boys were getting pretty excited when they were getting arms free and finding a lot of space but errors kind of let Wales off the hook a bit so we could’ve done a bit more damage I thought,” Mead said

Second-rower Rhyse Martin, pictured, tallied the most points by a Kumul from a World Cup match.

He scored two tries and kicked five goals for an 18-point haul.

Vice-captain Ase Boas also played an understated but crucial role in the win with five try assists.

In humid conditions in PNG’s nation’s capital, the Kumuls took advantage from the beginning with a try by Mead in the 5th minute which Boas failed to convert from out wide.

Dominating field position, it did not take long for the Michael Marum-coached side to strike again as Mead got his second of the day five minutes later, although the conversion looked easy for Boas, the Kumul five-eighth pushed it wide indicating that his left knee injury was affecting his goal kicking.

The Kumuls found a lot of space to run through the back-pedalling Wales defence and centre Nene Macdonald bagged himself a try.

The back end of the opening half saw the Welshman tire as the Kumuls scored two more converted tries through Kato Ottio and Wellington Albert for a 26-0 lead at halftime.

Martin was the first to score three minutes into the second half.
The second-rower grabbed his second for the day on the 53rd minute but failed to add the extras.

Winger Justin Olam put his name on the score board after chasing a Martin short-side grubber.

Mead scored his third try in the last quarter of the game to push the score into the 40s.

PNG’s last try of the day came from veteran Paul Aiton, who found a hole off a Kurt Baptiste pass with eight minutes remaining on the clock, Martin converted for his side to hit the half century mark.

PNG 50 (David Mead 3, Rhyse Martin 2, Kato Ottio, Nene Macdonald, Justin Olam, Wellington Albert, Paul AIton tries; Martin 5 con) Wales 6 (Reagan Grace try; Courtney Davies con).

Great Win

By : The National


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has congratulated the Kumuls on their 50-6 World Cup victory over Wales, saying they have done the nation proud.

“This is the first time we have ever beaten Wales in the history of the Rugby League World Cup, and the highest points scored by our Kumuls in the history of the competition,” he said.

“The team performed strongly against a solid team from Wales.”

More than 14,000 people watched the match at the National Football Stadium on Saturday as the first matches of the 2017 World Cup got underway.

O’Neill reminded the team not to be complacent as there were some more strong teams to meet.

“Maintain your focus, stick to your training regime, and carry the heart of our nation on your jerseys,” he said.

He was also relieved to hear that coach Michael Marum was in good spirits after being given medical care during the game for cramps.

“Michael has put his mind and soul into the Kumuls, and he is a great leader of his team,” he said.

Hebou PNG Barramundis Qualify for ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.

By : Post Courier


The International Cricket Council (ICC) officially announced yesterday that the Hebou PNG Barramundis and Netherlands have booked their ticket to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (CWCQ) 2018.

With one round to go in the ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC), Netherlands and the Hebou PNG Barramundis advanced to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (CWCQ) 2018, after Hong Kong defeated Nepal in the final series of round six matches.

Hong Kong’s victory over Nepal in its first match and the abandonment due to rain in the second means no team can close the gap on the Netherlands and PNG who become the first two teams from the ICC World Cricket League Championship to confirm their places in the CWCQ.

Hong Kong will now battle it out with Scotland and Kenya in round seven of the WCLC for the final two qualification positions for CWCQ 2018 in Zimbabwe in March 2018.

The Hebou PNG Barramundis drew their WCLC Round 6 Fixture against Scotland in Port Moresby, PNG earlier this month 1-1. In the first match Scotland defeated the Hebou PNG Barramundis by 101 runs before the Hebou PNG Barramundis bounced back to win the second match by five (5) wickets.

After Round 6, Netherlands lead the WCLC Standings on 18 points while the Hebou PNG Barramundis are in second place on 16 points.

Those who have not qualified will go into ICC World Cricket League Division 2 2018 this includes Nepal, Namibia and the UAE from the WCLC and Canada and Oman who have qualified from ICC World Cricket League Division 3 for the six-team tournament.

Round seven fixtures take place in the United Arab Emirates on 6 and 8 December 2017. Positions will be important as the winner of the ICC World Cricket League Championship will take the 13th position in the recently announced ODI League.

ICC World Cricket League Championship standings:

Teams Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Pts
Netherlands 12 8 2 0 2 18
Hebou PNG Barramundis 12 8 4 0 0 16
Scotland 12 6 3 0 3 15
Hong Kong 12 6 4 0 2 14
Kenya 12 6 6 0 0 12
Nepal 12 4 7 0 1 9
Namibia 12 3 9 0 0 6
United Arab Emirates 12 3 9 0 0 6

ICC World Cricket League Championship round 6 fixtures and results

Namibia v United Arab Emirates, Windhoek – 21 September – UAE won by 6 wickets

Namibia v United Arab Emirates, Windhoek – 23 September – Namibia won by 4 wickets

Hebou PNG Barramundis v Scotland, Port Moresby – 6 and 8 October – Scotland won by 101 runs

Hebou PNG Barramundis v Scotland, Port Moresby – 6 and 8 October – PNG won by 5 wickets

Kenya v Netherlands, East London, South Africa – 6 and 8 October – Netherlands won by 6 wickets

Kenya v Netherlands, East London, South Africa – 6 and 8 October – Kenya won by 2 wickets

Hong Kong v Nepal, Mong Kok – 13 October – Hong Kong won by 83 runs

Hong Kong v Nepal, Mong Kok –  15 October – Match abandoned without a ball bowled


ICC World Cricket League Championship round 7 fixtures

Kenya v Scotland, Dubai International Cricket Stadium – 6 and 8 December

UAE v Nepal, Sheikh Zayed Stadium Abu Dhabi – 6 and 8 December

Hong Kong v Hebou PNG Barramundis, ICC Academy 1 Dubai – 6 and 8 December

Netherlands v Namibia – ICC Academy 2 Dubai – 6 and 8 December

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