Sports vice minister confident in Kumuls

Vice Minister for Sports, Wesley Raminai, says the PNG LNG Kumuls have the ability to record their best ever world cup performance this Sunday.

The Minister told the Kumuls at a farewell dinner, after their 64-nil victory over USA, that the national side has now equalled the 2000 World Cup quarter-finals performance in England.

17 years on from the Kumuls experience then, they now have the opportunity to meet another Northern hemisphere rival in England in the quarter-final in Melbourne, Australia.

Raminai used the opportunity to thank the 2017 World Cup organisers and sponsors Oil Search and NCD, among others for the successful staging of the three pool matches in PNG.

He further congratulated the PNG Rugby League World Cup committee for great team work in concluding a worthwhile experience in PNG.

The deputy sports minister said although the home crowd advantage would not be there, Papua New Guineans are passionate about rugby league and he would not be surprised if a good number find their way to Melbourne.

He said the sell-out games for the 3 matches were proof that the initiative to include PNG as co-host, with Australia and New Zealand, was a good decision.

Raminai added that the Kumuls’ performance showed that PNG can be competitive with the right preparations.

He said further proof of the Pacific Islands’ ability was demonstrated in Tonga’s upset win over New Zealand last Saturday.

The O’Neill/Abel Government is keen to assist wherever possible to grow the game in PNG.

(Loop file pic)



Sophie Yaruso