PNG Kumuls

Whirlwind season for Morea

Only days after his selection to the national team, Morea could not believe he’s been named Hostplus Cup Rookie of the Year, capping off what’s been a whirlwind season for the young Papa Village sensation. Morea commented spending the preseason with NRL Dolphins was a highlight in itself that has added value to his development.

James makes it into PMs XIII

Mioks five-eight, Garry James, is an all-round footballer with skills that can break open tight games. He proved that in the 2023 finals football.

When his side was on the back-foot, he found a way to get the boys home in the hard-fought battle against Lae Snax Tigers in the preliminary finals. He did the same in the grand final against the Bintangor Goroka Lahanis who were threatening with the opening try.

Namo named on Cowboys extended bench

Namo since joining the Cowboys on train and trial deal early this year has been very strong for Townsville Blackhawks in the Hostplus Cup throughout the season. And this is a reward for his hard work and commitment. 

Namo’s last game against SP PNG Hunters was a prove for his form. He scored a try and put a strong performance through the middle. Which helped his side to a comfortable victory against his former club, the SP Hunters. 

Johnston records 200th NRL match

The very same stadium he made his debut nine years ago.

The PNG International scored two tries in the 28 – 12 points win over Melbourne Storm on his milestone match.

Johnston made his debut in 2014, the year Rabbitohs went on to win the premiership. He debuted against Brisbane Broncos in Round Eight at Suncorp Stadium where he scored a try and helped his side to 28 - 26 victory over the home side.

'Made me who I am': Mead announces Test retirement

Mead wants other young PNG players to have a similar experience and that is why the long-serving Kumuls captain told team-mates on Tuesday that he was calling time on his decorated international career after Saturday night’s Pacific Test against Fiji at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

​The 33-year-old is yet to made a final decision about his NRL future but he has advised new Kumuls coach Stanley Tepend to give his World Cup spot to one of the growing band of young players he believes would provide the talent for a future PNG team in the Telstra Premiership.

PNG v Fiji: Johnston and Kikau headline all star cast

After Samoa and Cook Islanads have the set the scene in the earlier game it's over to PNG and Fiji to light up the stadium with some ferocious defence and flashy attack in their first clash since November, 2019.

On that occasion it was the Bati prevailing 22-20 in a thriller in Christchurch with Viliame Kikau and Tui Kamikamica among the tryscorers and Maika Sivo running for 214 metres.

‘I feel like a fraud’: Why de Belin will knock back PNG

Kumuls officials had reached out to the St George Illawarra Dragons middle forward before Papua New Guinea face Fiji at Campbelltown Stadium next Saturday night.

But de Belin says it wouldn’t feel right to lace up the boots for a country he has never felt a genuine connection with. He qualifies for the Kumuls via his maternal grandmother, who was born there but does not have Papua New Guinean heritage.

“I’d love to help out and what not, but I just don’t feel like it’s right. I’m taking away a spot from someone who is actually from PNG and deserves it,” de Belin said.

Kumuls Squad Named

Kumuls Head Coach Stanley Tepend said all the players named have been in contact with him for the past few weeks and they are aware of the short camp coming up ahead of the test match against Fiji Batis.

“There are six Hunters players named, even though we haven’t been doing well but I feel that the players have earned their position. 
“We will all get into camp on Tuesday the 21st, we will assemble in to Campbelltown, and so it’s easier for us.”

Dragons de Belin Unavailable

However, newly appointed Kumuls Head Coach, Stanley Tepend is hopeful the lock will accept a call-up later in the year. 

Tepend and his predecessor Michael Marum have held discussions with De Belin about representing his grandmother’s birth nation over the last 12 months.

De Belin only returned to the NRL last year and hasn’t played representative football since 2018, with the 31-year-old ruling himself out of Kumuls selection ahead of next week’s Test at Campbelltown.

Fiji Bati Name Squad

The Bati squad features 15 NRL players, with Sydney Roosters winger, Kevin Naiqama, named captain and Panthers player, Viliame Kikau, named vice captain.

Other NRL players include, Issac Lumelume, Braydon Wakeham and Penioni Tagituimua (Caterbury Bulldogs), Sunia Turuva (Penrith Panthers), Semi Valemei (Canberra Raiders), Mikaele Ravalawa (St George Illawarra Dragons), Maika Sivo (Parramatta Eels), Vuate Karawalevu and Tui Kamikamica (Melbourne Storm), Taane Milne (South Sydney Rabbitohs) and Iosefo Masi, Taniela Sadrugu, and Laitia Moceidreke (Queensland Cowboys).