PNG Orchids

Can one team change a country’s mindset?

This is the opening statement in the new rugby league documentary that will soon premiere in PNG.

A powerful and inspiring film, Power Meri follows the journey of the PNG Orchids from inception to the world stage.

Through the voices of pioneering players from the inaugural 2017 squad, viewers will get an in-depth look at these women’s humble beginning, their passion in the game of rugby league and challenges faced as female athletes in a male-dominated sport.

Orchids go down to Jillaroos

The match ended with a 40-4 scoreline, in favour of the visitors.

The visiting Australian Jillaroos treated this match like any other, making sure they got into the rhythm of the game immediately at kick off.

With the intense city heat, the Jillaroos piled on in attack from the get go, eventually scoring their first converted try in just under 10 minutes.

The Oil Search PNG Orchids were tough in their defence, tackling hard but not so much in attack.

The Jillaroos prevented them from getting too close to their try line.

Using rugby to push positive messages

This is the aim of the Oil Search player pathway program, where it is hoped that the partnership between the PNG Orchids and Brisbane Broncos will help change society’s mindset on women.

During the recent announcement of the partnership, Brisbane Broncos NRL Women’s CEO, Tain Drinkwater, said this is a great opportunity to promote female participation.

Drinkwater also sees this a chance to build on and leverage female empowerment in PNG.

Kuk among ‘top 10 female rugby league players’

From rugby union to rugby league, Amelia Kuk is no pushover.

Women’s rugby league is on the verge of a new era, with the move into a semi-professional environment, thanks to the introduction of an NRL-run competition from 2018, which follows on from the success of recent women’s Tests at the NRL Auckland Nines and 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup.

Taking a look at the top 10 female league players in the world right now, PNG Orchids five-eighth Kuk made number 10 for her outstanding performance during the WRLWC 2017.

The hardest thing she ever did

Amelia Kuk has had nothing but praise for the PNG Orchids since joining camp this week.

The 21-year-old rugby star is obviously proud of her Kolpoga heritage, coming from the Kopi tribe in the Western Highlands Province, and says the change from union to league has been somewhat rejuvenating.

Kuk is a 7s player, having represented PNG. However, she made her debut this year with the Jillaroos at the Auckland 9s and taking the field against the Orchids during the PM’s XIII match was the hardest thing she’s had to do.

PNG Orchids named for world cup

The 24-year-old debuted for the Australian Jillaroos in last month’s curtain raiser to the PNG PM’s XIII and Australian PM’s XIII match against the PNG Orchids in Port Moresby.

She unfortunately missed out on selection into the Australian team for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup.

“We contacted her and she was over the moon to join the PNG Orchids. She was here last month and got on well with the PNG Orchids so she will not be new to the players. Her inclusion brings that experience to our side,” said Orchids coach, Dennis Miall.

​PNG Orchids presented jerseys

The PNG Orchids were presented the new jerseys from major sponsor Oil Search Limited for their curtain raiser match before the Prime Minister XIII match between the Kangaroos and the Kumuls.

OSL executive general manager stakeholder engagement, Gerea Aopi, said the company was thrilled to support the PNG Orchids.

“This is PNG’s first ever women’s national rugby league team to participate in international events and we are proud to create sporting history alongside them.

“Oil Search is a proud advocate of women’s empowerment.