Sign in to follow this  
Yakstorm

How do we get the likes of Wales / Ireland / France back to PNG?

Recommended Posts

Up until recently Rugby League had a problem where arguably the only places which could host a profitable Test Match was in Australia, England or New Zealand (France, in the right circumstances, was the only real exception).

The scenario has created a situation where for many second tier nations, there were either forced to play against each other on neutral soil, play at home in front of about 600 people as there was zero budgets for anything, wait till one of the big three decided to play them or not play at all..

Less than ideal scenarios.... Thankfully however, a new option has emerged over the past few years - PNG... Through a fortunate alignment of events, such as a new venue, improvements in the country's economy, experience in hosting major events in multiple sports (Pacific Games, FIFA U20s Women's World Cup, RLWC), PNG has become a realistic place to hold profitable Internationals...

Now this is why I feel we should be looking, as a sport, to see how we can get Wales, France and/or Ireland (and perhaps Scotland) to tour the nation?

There are arguably so many benefits for these nations if we could find a way to get them to tour, even if they only are able to do it once every 4 years or do.

Benefits include:

- Diversity of opponents. Currently these nations play the same opponents year in year out, outside of World Cups. All three nations could benefit playing in an environment like a sold out Port Moresby.

- Coverage. Sure you could argue that if these sides play on the other side of the world, the media will ignore them, but it is more likely that TV networks + newspapers will run stories of an Ireland side playing Infront of a full crowd than a hidden away game locally. Especially as the Media groups in PNG will do all the heavy lifting... Arguably it will be more likely a TV network would broadcast the game back in Ireland / France or the UK because they won't have to pay for Broadcast costs...

- Crowds. Ireland v PNG in Port Moresby will be a 15K sell out, which is around 14K more than what the Wolfhounds will get for a Euro Championship game back home. Opportunities to play in places where the players will be treated like heroes and can play in front of big crowds is only a good thing for the development of these national brands.

 - Money. It may cost more to get there, but the WRL, RLI and FFRXIII are more likely to walk away with a profit from Port Moresby (or at least break even) than back in Wrexham.

 

 

Now naturally, any tour concept is likely to disrupt the planned 6 Nations and will have a larger upfront cost, but surely the game should be looking to take advantage of PNG as much as possible to help expedite growth of the sport... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Yakstorm said:

 - Money. It may cost more to get there, but the WRL, RLI and FFRXIII are more likely to walk away with a profit from Port Moresby (or at least break even) than back in Wrexham.

 

Are they though? Do you have any balance sheets from any international played in PNG to back up this assertion? I've never seen one. I have no position here, I'm simply asking if anyone has ever seen any financial report from any RL activity in PNG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Brisbane Broncos are going to play a trial game against the Hunters in Port Moresby before the 2018 season starts. There must be some money there for them to do that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Copa said:

The Brisbane Broncos are going to play a trial game against the Hunters in Port Moresby before the 2018 season starts. There must be some money there for them to do that.

I was thinking of something a little more specific. I'm fairly certain that clubs never expect to make money on trial games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Copa said:

The Brisbane Broncos are going to play a trial game against the Hunters in Port Moresby before the 2018 season starts. There must be some money there for them to do that.

I think It costs less to fly from Australia. 

Btw, an NRL club has a bigger budget than the small Euro federations so they could take the risk and try exploring a new market 

Edited by MatthewWoody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to Port Moresby for the PNG v Wales game - one of a very few Wales supporters who paid to get to PNG for the World Cup. I'm commenting on this purely from my experience of a game as a supporter.

1. Its expensive to get there. Wales didn't have an organised tour for supporters - any travel agent wouldn't take that on due to the low numbers of people travelling. Those Wales supporters who did go to the World Cup left out PNG probably for 2 reasons- its expensive to get there and if you read the Foreign Office info on PNG you'd probably decide not to go.

2. I was advised to stay at a hotel with security. The hotel (The Stanley) that Wales RL used during the World Cup was the most expensive hotel they stayed at for all 3 pool games. I stayed at the Crowne Plaza which was £192 for 2 nights. The Stanley was about double that.

3.Once you are in your hotel you are advised not to get a taxi, not to use public transport, to to venture into unsecure areas; basically you are confined to a hotel complex. Fortunately I had made contact with 2 ex-pats who worked in PNG and could take me out into Port Moresby and escort me to the game.

The scale of the difference between the wealthy and the extremely poor is massive. The countryside is strewn with plastic waste. People are in thread bare rags with no shoes - yet the kids will have a rugby ball and will be playing on any scrap of waste land the can. Rugby League is definitely king.

4. Attending the game itself is an experience. The colour, the noise the passion of the PNG people is incredible. Everytime PNG touch the ball the volume increase. Andy attack was cheered to the rafters. Any big tackles was met with rapture and with each try the volume was deafening.  

5.I met the stadium manager while I was at the game. He told me the only area that beer was available was in VIP hospitality. Any beer served in the ground would only result in violent clashes so alcohol isn't served at any PNG rugby league games. HE told me that security is a massive problem at the games and the security of the players, staff and officials it taken very seriously as there have been riots at PNG games.

I travelled back from the game with the Wales entourage - with a full police escort,through the hundreds of supporters who lined the route to wave their tanks and support to Wales.

6.I am hopeful that more international team will travel to Port Moresby. They will certainly be welcomed by the PNG rugby league supporters but the country does have  a huge problem with corruption, security and violence. Travelling teams will need to be confident that those issues can be and will be managed.

Its certainly was an incredible experience to watch a World Cup game in Papua New Guinea - one I wont forget in a hurry!

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The World Cup went to PNG solely because of the A$6m subsidy provided by the PNG government to WC organisers. I doubt the gate receipts would even cover travel costs.

Saying that, it is our duty to provide them with more high profile home fixtures. It is the biggest PR exercise the global game can receive. Seeing obsessed fans from a culturally diverse country absolutely loving RL and being knowledgeable. It is better than any ad campaign. I think TV stations would love it too.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgot to add.The ticket prices for the PNG Wales game were far cheaper than any other pool games - the vast majority of the PNG people would have been priced out of the gamehad they set them at Australian or NewZealand prices. so although the stadium was completely full, the gate income may have been less than some of the half-full Australian stadiums.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, gogledd said:

I went to Port Moresby for the PNG v Wales game - one of a very few Wales supporters who paid to get to PNG for the World Cup. I'm commenting on this purely from my experience of a game as a supporter.

1. Its expensive to get there. Wales didn't have an organised tour for supporters - any travel agent wouldn't take that on due to the low numbers of people travelling. Those Wales supporters who did go to the World Cup left out PNG probably for 2 reasons- its expensive to get there and if you read the Foreign Office info on PNG you'd probably decide not to go.

2. I was advised to stay at a hotel with security. The hotel (The Stanley) that Wales RL used during the World Cup was the most expensive hotel they stayed at for all 3 pool games. I stayed at the Crowne Plaza which was £192 for 2 nights. The Stanley was about double that.

3.Once you are in your hotel you are advised not to get a taxi, not to use public transport, to to venture into unsecure areas; basically you are confined to a hotel complex. Fortunately I had made contact with 2 ex-pats who worked in PNG and could take me out into Port Moresby and escort me to the game.

The scale of the difference between the wealthy and the extremely poor is massive. The countryside is strewn with plastic waste. People are in thread bare rags with no shoes - yet the kids will have a rugby ball and will be playing on any scrap of waste land the can. Rugby League is definitely king.

4. Attending the game itself is an experience. The colour, the noise the passion of the PNG people is incredible. Everytime PNG touch the ball the volume increase. Andy attack was cheered to the rafters. Any big tackles was met with rapture and with each try the volume was deafening.  

5.I met the stadium manager while I was at the game. He told me the only area that beer was available was in VIP hospitality. Any beer served in the ground would only result in violent clashes so alcohol isn't served at any PNG rugby league games. HE told me that security is a massive problem at the games and the security of the players, staff and officials it taken very seriously as there have been riots at PNG games.

I travelled back from the game with the Wales entourage - with a full police escort,through the hundreds of supporters who lined the route to wave their tanks and support to Wales.

6.I am hopeful that more international team will travel to Port Moresby. They will certainly be welcomed by the PNG rugby league supporters but the country does have  a huge problem with corruption, security and violence. Travelling teams will need to be confident that those issues can be and will be managed.

Its certainly was an incredible experience to watch a World Cup game in Papua New Guinea - one I wont forget in a hurry!

Fantastic post. A real insight thanks mate. Was it as hot as it looked?

It does really make you wonder whether the country could actually handle an expanded stadium of 25k+ or the NRL. Managed internationals over a few weeks is a different scenario.

The experience is so intense that it must be high on International players' bucket list. For someone who grew up with PNG as this mythical place GB went on tours, watching it first hand was quite emotional. I remember France playing a test series there about 20 years ago. Another televised PNG v France 3-test series in PM would basically be RL porn for those who adore international RL!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Scubby said:

Fantastic post. A real insight thanks mate. Was it as hot as it looked?

It does really make you wonder whether the country could actually handle an expanded stadium of 25k+ or the NRL. Managed internationals over a few weeks is a different scenario.

The experience is so intense that it must be high on International players' bucket list. For someone who grew up with PNG as this mythical place GB went on tours, watching it first hand was quite emotional. I remember France playing a test series there about 20 years ago. Another televised PNG v France 3-test series in PM would basically be RL porn for those who adore international RL!

Hot doesn't describe it! It was like stepping into a furnace gettign off the plane!  No wonder our Welsh lads struggled - they had about 2 days acclimation and because the temperature 'dropped' to 32C, there were no additional water breaks - that was crazy and dangerous for player welfare.

I spoke to some lads from Cantebury Bulldogs the next day and they had to leave at half time -they were in the unshaded part of the stadium and it was too hot for them.

There is another stadium being built - its 3/4 finished but like a lot of thing in PNG it was a great vision, left unfinished, blighted by corruption and ultimately left in a right state!

I'd guess if you spoke to any of the Welsh players they absolutely loved the experience - if not the result or their performance. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



League Express - Every Monday

Rugby League World - Dec 2017

Cas Tigers - The Breakthrough Year! On Sale Here

Rugby League Books On Sale Here