PNG Kumuls

PNG goes down to Samoa

The Samoans got off to a terrific start at Leichhardt Oval under lights when Jarome Luai took advantage of spacing in the Kumuls’ ruck, sliding over for his team’s first try of the match.

Jamayne Isaako converted for a 6-point lead four minutes into the 2019 Ox & Palm Pacific Test Invitational match.

The monster Samoan forward pack kept battering the PNG defense but superb performance by the Kumuls kept them at bay until 20 minutes into the match when Josh Aloiai once again capitalises on gaps within the Kumuls’ line.

Papua New Guinea v Toa Samoa: Pacific Test preview

It makes for an interesting match-up in the 2019 Ox & Palm Pacific Test Invitational between two nations with not a lot of playing history against each other.

Different styles and different strengths mean on-paper analysis leads to a few possibilities in the outcome.

Will Samoa, boosted by the return of Martin Taupau, power straight through the middle? Or can the more nimble PNG playmakers use speed and skill to stand-up the Samoans?

The Rundown

Key match-up

K10m contract for PNG Kumuls

Specialist advisor to PHA, Raj Juta, announced this at a media conference in Port Moresby.

“PHA is delighted to announce this landmark five year sponsorship with the PNGRFL as platinum sponsors of the PNG LNG Kumuls this year,” Juta said. “PHA will become naming rights sponsors of the PNG Kumuls starting next year 2020 when they will be known as PHA Kumuls until 2023.”

Juta also announced PHA’s partnership with PNGRFL for personal accident protection cover to all registered players and officials, including referees and employees.

Kumuls players named in emerging Maroons squad

Maroons Coach Kevin Walters made the announcement on Monday, December 17th.

Martin (25), who grew up in Queensland, has been a strong performer for the Kumuls, especially during the 2017 World Cup.

This season he achieved his goal of playing in the NRL, with a memorable debut against the Brisbane Broncos in Round Nine, where he scored a try with his very first touch of the ball.

Macdonald debuted with the Roosters as a 20-year-old in 2014 and has emerged as one of competition’s top wingers during his stints with the Titans and Dragons.

Knights hold off Kumuls

Despite the unforgiving humidity, the Knights held off a Kumuls come back after taking an eight point lead in the first half.

Brendan Nima opened the scoring in 13th minute when Nene McDonald tapped back a Watson Boas fifth last kick to Nima to score in the right corner. Watson Boas missed the conversion giving Kumuls a 4 – 0 lead.

After a penalty against Nene McDonald for dangerous play, the Knights would score in the 21st minute when try scorer Nima allowed the ball to bounce in the in goal area  for Centre Liam Sutcliffe to score.

John excited to don Kumuls jumper

During Thursday’s training, Zev said he was more than excited to represent PNG on home ground, where he first started playing rugby league more than 5 years ago.

The 21 years old from Western Highlands could not believe his luck when he was selected to play for the PNG LNG Kumuls against the England Knights.

Zev is based in Melbourne Australia, and currently plays for the Victoria Thunderbolts, the development club for the Melbourne Storms.

“I will put in a hundred and ten per cent this Saturday.”

Nene Macdonald signs with Cowboys

Macdonald was with the St George Illawarra Dragons this season after debuting for Sydney Roosters in 2014.

According to the North Queensland Cowboys official website, Macdonald has arrived at the club’s camp in preparation for the 2019 season.

The 24-year-old recently participated in the PM’s XIII in Port Moresby where Australia beat PNG 34 – 18.

Born in Port Moresby but growing up in North Queensland, Macdonald debuted in the red, black and gold jersey in 2013 – when he was 19 years of age.

So far he has played nine Test matches for the PNG Kumuls. 

Kangaroos take match 34-18

Australia shocked a well-set PNG side with its first three tries, all in the first 20 minutes of play.

What was more shocking was the sudden rush of spectators jumping over the stadium barriers and onto the field.

Reports came in later, saying the stadium flood lights at the West end was toppling over, causing spectators to run onto the field.

Yet this minor disturbance did not disturb the flow of defense and attack of the Australians.

PNG also got back right on it, and just before the half time whistle, put on the scoreboard its first 6 points.

Page excluded in Kumuls squad

Coach Michael Marum said this during the team’s announcement.

Marum added that Kurt Baptiste also missed out due to niggling injuries.

Marum said it was a tough decision for Page, who asked not to be included in the squad due to personal commitments.

“Luke Page really wanted to play but the last time he missed eight weeks, he missed out a lot on his work so, while he is playing he’s also employed and got a job there, so he’s asked if he can be considered for the next games so I’ve allowed him to do that.”

Kumuls outclass Bati

Ranked 10th in World Rugby League, PNG outclassed the fifth placed and much fancied Fiji team.

Junior Rau scored the first of his double on debut in the 13th minute after Watson Boas fought off the defensive line.

Four minutes later Luke Page socred under the post after James Segeyaro offloaded following a Kumuls raid.

Rhyse Martin kick a penalty in the 23rd minute after Boas was hit late in a fifth last tackle.