2017 Rugby League World Cup

Proud PM applauds Kumuls

Just like every Papua New Guinean, a proud Prime Minister Peter O’Neill extended his congratulations to the PNG LNG Kumuls on their whopping victory over USA yesterday (Nov 12).

"You demonstrated your professionalism on the field for a spectacular result,” says the PM.

"From the players, coaches and support staff we have seen commitment to deliver three straight wins.

"It will be a tough match, and we know that you will give it your all as you prepare for the game in Melbourne next week.”

Kumuls rewrite history books

A hat-trick to Justin Olam and a double to debutant, Lachlan Lam, contributed to 11 try rout to complete a clean sweep of the Kumuls’ pool matches in front of yet another sell out at the Oil Search National Football Stadium, Port Moresby.

The home side came out firing from the start with Lam pumping his fist in celebration as he opened the scoring.

This opened the floodgates.

It was 22-0 after 18 minutes with the Kumuls right on top, scoring at nearly a point a minute.

The drinks break at the end of the first quarter offered some relief for the weary Hawks.

Kumuls book quarter-finals spot

The PNG LNG Kumuls had 34 points under their belt when they went for a break, with the USA Hawks yet to score.

Just a minute back from half time and David Mead scooped the ball and did an 80-metre run to score for the PNG Kumuls. A successful conversion by Rhyse Martin made it 40-nil, in favour of the home side.

Unfortunately, Gary Lo got a right ankle injury in the second half and was unable to come back on for the rest of the match.

This, however, did not affect PNG’s try-scoring streak.

Kumuls 34 points ahead at half-time

7 mins 53 secs into the match, James Segeyaro picked up an inside ball, offloading to Lachlan Lam who opened up the account for the PNG LNG Kumuls.

Lam, although on debut, made no secret of his ability in rugby league.

Rhyse Martin then had no problem converting, giving PNG an early lead, 6-nil.

Kicking dead off the restart, the USA Hawks struggled with the wind behind them.

Justin Olam went through from a pass from young Lam to score out right in the 11th minute.

Former players wish Kumuls good luck

Former players including Emmanuel Kairu, David Gaius, Tuksy Karu, Richard Wagambie, Bobby Ako and Dikana Boge paraded around the stadium before forming a line to welcome out the players from the dressing rooms.

The USA Hawks and PNG LNG Kumuls Pool C match kicked off at 3pm.

England captain wants improvement

England ground their way to a patchy 29-10 win against Lebanon last week, with coach Wayne Bennett saying they "lost their way in the second half", and the Wigan Warriors captain wants more consistency at Perth Stadium.

It’s show time!

Today’s game day activities will also include the parade of former Moresby-based Kumuls at 2.15pm prior to the kick off to the game between the PNG Kumuls and the USA Hawks.

Gates will open at 11.30am and the action begins with the kick-off for the curtain-raiser match between PNG Defence Force and Australian Defence Force women’s teams.

Cultural performances from the 4 regions of PNG, as an initiative of the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, will take place at 1:25pm.

Kangaroos frustrated by stop-start game

Tipped by many to run up a cricket score against the tournament minnows, the Aussies struggled for continuity in the first half, establishing a 10-0 lead at the break before they ran away with it in the final 10 minutes. 

Taumalolo enjoyed the last laugh

Days out from the Kiwis' squad being named for the tournament, Taumalolo made the shock decision to pledge allegiance to Tonga rather than his country of birth, neglecting to inform New Zealand officials along the way, leading to accusations of cowardice from both Kidwell and Kiwis captain Adam Blair.

But following Saturday's historic 28-22 victory over New Zealand, Taumalolo revealed regret at the way the situation played out.

"I definitely could have handled it a lot better to be honest, that was probably the biggest [regret]," Taumalolo said.

PM applauds Kumuls

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

O’Neill, who is also the Minister for Sports, continued: “These are proud moments for us as a country of thousand tribes, but united by one common theme - rugby league.”

He urged all PNG Kumuls supporters attending the final match against the United States to turn up in red, black and gold - the PNG colours; and send the Kumuls off to Melbourne on a high.