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Waghi Tumbe

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  1. It was always going to be Tepend imo. He has been assistant coach for the Kumuls for the past 6 years, and is the most successful coach in our national domestic competition's history. Olam, Albert, Ipape and many of the Hunters players all begun their careers with him, so choosing him was always the safest option. Happy that Flanagan is onboard. His experience and class will be vital, especially if we wish to make the semis for the first time. I know the Kumuls are a different beast when they're not playing at home. But this time I think 2 years of not playing in PNG for the Hunters, may actually push things in their favour.
  2. Most Papua New Guineans think it's an absurd idea, and not trying to get political here but the timing seems a little suspicious, since they've launched this bid at the eve of the national elections. Most of us want a PNG team in all the lower divisions of the Queensland cup, a proper domestic school boys and juniors program, and restructuring and modernization of the Digicel cup. We need to have a salary cap in place, a data base to keep track of players and teams should have at least more than one major sponsor. It's frustrating when big franchises like the Agmark Gurias, Lae Snax Tigers and Port Moresby Vipers buy and poach all of the talent. I mean my Waghi Tumbe has lost most of its key players to the Gurias, including the famous Joe Frank 'The Tank'.
  3. Olam never played proper rugby league until he went to university. He was only exposed to the ARL system when he joined the hunters. The NRL has 0 grassroots footprint on the game in PNG. The Digicel cup and all the 30 or so affiliated local leagues are independently run by passionate locals and sponsored by local business man and companies. The Digicel cup is primarily sponsored by Digicel PNG and a few nationally owned businesses. Again no NRL input there. My understanding is that the NRL is the premier rugby league competition in the world, Sivo, Kikau and Olam etc... are all elite athletes who have earned the right to be in this competition. Any athlete Australian or otherwise who wants to get picked over them, must earn the right to be picked over them to play in the NRL. At the end of the day the NRL is a business and the product it puts out every round is what keeps viewers engaged and generates revenue which inturn stimulates growth. Putting out inferior product in the name of national expansion is something that will never happen. Especially when it comes to an organisation like the NRL who are reluctant to expand beyond the Eastern Seaboard and Auckland, without a very strong support base and financial backing. I mean look at the reasons Vlandys stated for playing round zero in LA next year. Didn't Sivo play bush footy before playing in the Ron Massey? Wasnt Kikau brought up playing rugby union in Fiji before being brought to Queensland?
  4. It's always great seeing Tonga play, especially in NZ where there is a large Tongan diaspora. This should become an annual fixture! Hope the other Pacific island sides organise some mid season tests as well. With the majority of the GB winning PNG side either retired or injured, my Kumuls will need to test their up and coming youngsters soon, if we are ever hoping to stand a chance against the likes of Tonga, the Cook Islands, and England (if we make it to the quarter finals) in the world cup.
  5. I think the following nations will feature in RLWC 2025: Asia Pacific: Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Cook Islands. Europe: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Wales, Scotland, Greece and Serbia. Americas: United States and Jamaica MEA: Lebanon and Morroco (if they bring over their french based players in the qualifiers on September). I'm sure there'll be at least one or two changes to this list especially in Europe, if some heritage players in the NRL and Superleague decide to take the field in the qualifiers.
  6. Tonga, PNG and the rest won't ever be able to host their own Internationals and make money from them because those countries are all too poor; even matches in New Zealand (like the money-losing 1996 GB tour) aren't guaranteed money-makers. This weird idea that the rise of these tiny third world countries will do anything substantial to boost the game's profile, image and fortunes really is divorced from reality. For your information PNG has hosted many standalone internationals in the past, especially against Fiji. When Tonga rugby league was broke, we saved them by organising a test match in Lae with all expenses payed for. They lost the match despite having players like Sika Manu, but the revenue it generated helped save them. This was a year or two before their famous RLWC run. PNG may be an underdeveloped nation, but the PNGRFL is well financed with alot of political backing and power. It's flagship competition the Digicel cup not only has players from PNG, but also from across the Pacific, especially Fiji and the Cookislands. We've hosted many high level regional events, such as the APEC Summit, South Pacific games (twice), and even the last RLWC to name a few. I agree with one or two of the points you've made, but assuming low tier countries can't organise their own test matches is pretty ignorant.
  7. Some Digicel cup teams like the Lae Snax Tigers, Port Moresby Vipers and Rabaul Gurias already have academies and junior leagues, which have produced quite a number of Kumul's and players like Justin Olam (Tigers), Wellington Albert(Tigers) and Watson Boas(Gurias) to name a few. An NRL club establishing some links to one of these clubs, especially a well run club like the Tigers, will be highly beneficial for the game in the long run. Chimbu and the other Highlands provinces are the true heartlands of Rugby league in PNG. At this moment, Mt. Hagen, the third largest urban center in the country, and the biggest town in the Highlands would be the most ideal place to run a junior league there. They already have a thriving town league, that has supplied many players to the Digicel cup franchises, and Kumuls over the past two decades. Road access and logistics is still an issue in the highlands despite improving conditions and growth in the past few years. Their are many Justin Olam's and Stanley Gene's whose talent have gone unnoticed. There are actually quite a large number of Aussies, Kiwis and Europeans (mostly Germans, PNG was a German colony) in the country. They mainly work in the mineral, business and aviation sectors. But there are also missionaries and doctors here who live with there families, despite covid. Many of the Town leagues and Digicel cup franchises are sponsored and run by Aussies and Kiwis. We even had an Aussie who refereed in the Digicel cup for many years, and the incumbent side line commentator is a young Aussie bloke. Anthony Lafrranchi played for the Waghi Tumbe in our maiden season. PNG is peaceful in most parts of the country. Yes, the country does have its issues and there's plenty of work that still needs to be done, but those journalists love to sensationalise stories. Every now and then we have an international news team who go to one of the worst settlements, and interview criminals who make up half of what they are saying, they love to boast. Tribal warfare rarely happens in most parts of the Highlands, my tribe is one of the most feared and we haven't mobilised since the 80's. I think I watched that documentary you're referring to, and I don't want to break into the minor details since this is not a political forum, but a great deal of it was staged. With all that being said, I think a formal relationship between an existing Digicel cup franchise like the Tigers or the Vipers, and an NRL team is the way forward. A few Aussies on the ground t professionalising and providing technical support to those already existing academies and junior leagues, is the only financial and culturally viable option available now. PNG is still a developing country and with over 800 plus different languages, you'll need locals to help you if you even want to get a small session done. Just ask the current Hunters coach, Matt Church.
  8. I agree with the point your making there, the NRL and the powers that be need to do more up there to help grow the game, and create a pathway to expose many of those hidden talents. Other sports have already made inroads into the country, with rugby 7s becoming extremely popular among the youth and the preferred participation sport. Soccer having a semi professional league, with games now being nationally televised and a few of the boys scouted by clubs in NZ and Australia. Cricket's also on the rise, with the national team participating in their first T20 world cup this year. With a team made up entirely of locals. Years of political influence and meddling in rugby league, millions of pounds spent by the government on the sport with little to show, no proper pathway and coaching for players, and consistent preference of heritage players over homegrown talent has seen the game go on a slow but steady downward spiral. If good and immediate action is not taken soon, I don't think rugby league will be as popular as it is now in 30 years time, in a country where it is supposed to be like a religion. On another note, I can't find fault with the Kumuls selectors picking heritage players like Alex Johnston over Terry Wapi, because at the end of the day their job is to select the best squad from what is available, inorder to give them the best possible chance of winning. So the onus is really on the administrators and people behind the scene to change the current status quo.
  9. Theres definitely plenty of talent in that squad. Hopefully Matt Church gets the best out of them. Joe's been a solid player for the Tumbe for the past few years. Practically lifts the team with his damaging runs and big hits. He's really matured off the field this year, and his first captaincy followed by the Tumbe's maiden grand final appearance is no coincidence. It's a pity there's no proper youth system in PNG, if he had been exposed earlier, I'm sure he'd be lighting it up in the NRL or Super League, like Olam.
  10. Thanks mate, didn't know those three. If available, Bailey will definitely be in the starting 13, either in the halves or at hooker.
  11. The last time they played up North was eight years ago. The squad comprised of mostly semi professional players from the Digicel cup, and a few league 1 players, with a sprinkling of NRL talent (David Mead, Ray Thompson, a very young Nene MacDonald, and Neville Costigan). This time I'm sure they'll perform better with the talent they've got and the Hunters boys. Hehe... slight error there when I created my username, not sure how I can change it to Waghi Tumbe. Any advice?
  12. Today is the 4th anniversary of the day the Kangaroos won the world cup. So I decided to make a list of the Kumuls possible squad for next year's RLWC: 1. David Mead (WG,FB,CT) Brisbane Broncos 2. Xavier Coates (WG) Melbourne Storm 3. Nene MacDonald (WG,CT) Leigh Centurions 4. Justin Olam (CT,WG) Melbourne Storm 5. Alex Johnston (WG,FB) South Sydney Rabbitohs 6. Kyle Laybutt (HV,CT) Townsville Blackhawks 7. Lachlan Lam (HV,HK,CT) Sydney Roosters) 8. Wellington Albert (PR) London Broncos 9. Kurt Baptiste (HK,LF) Sunshine coast Falcons 10. Moses Meninga (SR,PR,LK) Townsville Blackhawks 11. Nixon Putt (SR,LK,CT) Central Queensland Capras 12. Rhyse Martin (SR,LK) Leeds Rhinos 13. Jack de Belin (LK,PR) St.George Illawarra Dragons +Debut Interchange 14. Edwin Epape (HK,5/8,FB) PNG Hunters 15. Mekenzie Yei (PR,SR) Central Queensland Capras +Debut 16. Samuel Yegip (PR) PNG Hunters +Debut 17. Epel Kapinias (PR,SR) PNG Hunters +Debut Extra 18. Dan Russell (CT,SR) Brisbane Tigers Reserves 19. Edene Gebbie (WG,FB) Western Suburbs Magpies 20. Liam Horne (HK,SR) North Devils +Debut 21. Jordan Pat (PR) PNG Hunters +Debut 22. Sylvester Namo (PR,SR) PNG Hunters +Debut 23. Keven Apo (SR) PNG Hunters +Debut Shadows 24. Judah Rimbu (HK,5/8,LF) PNG Hunters +Debut 25. Solo Wane (WG) PNG Hunters +Debut Outs: Ase Boas (injury), Enoch Maki (Retired), Luke Page (Retired), Wartovo Puara Jnr (will be a shoe in if Segeyaro and Baptiste are unavailable), James Segeyaro (been hinting at a possible return on the socials, will be selected if available), Watson Boas (will need outstanding 2022 at League 1 to warrant any chance), Terry Wapi (also needs an outstanding season, with the depth in backs), Stanton Albert (unavailable due to family reasons) Other Possible Debutants: Jedidiah Simbiken (FB,WG) Central Queensland Capras Jimmy Ngutlik (WG) Wests Tigers NSW Cup Emmanuel Waine (CT,SR,WG) PNG Hunters Gilmo Paul (CT,WG) PNG Hunters Ragarive Wavik (FB) Train and trial NQL Cowboys Robert Derby (CT) Train and trial NQL Cowboys Bailey Lam (HV) South Sydney Rabbitohs U21 Francis Kembis (PR,SR) in PNG Hunters training squad 2022 (Waghi Tumbe) Tony Worot (PR) in PNG Hunters training squad 2022 (Rabaul Gurias) The Kumuls made the quarter finals in 2017. Can they do one better this time, and make it to the semis? Only time will tell, but one thing's for certain, all these players will lift when they put on the iconic red and gold. 2022 bring it on!!
  13. With PNG having more depth in the backs then ever before, I am sure he will be giving his best for Leigh inorder to secure a spot for next year's world cup. He knows the championship is a stepdown from the Queensland cup, so the onus is on him to perform.
  14. To clarify with everyone on this forum, this exhibition match is the Australian PM's XIII Vs the PNG PM's XIII, and not the Kumuls. The best players in the DIGICEL cup are selected, along with a few members of the senior squad. In 2017 the entire PNG team was made up of DIGICEL cup players because the hunters were in the intrust super cup finals. A good number of the Australian contingent who played in that match went on to play in the World cup. It's a trial match and has been treated by both parties as such, with the exception of a few years in the 2000's, when PNGRfl was marred by politics and infighting. Which then resulted in terrible performances in the 2008 world cup, 2010 4 Nations and the 2013 world cup. I know this because I'm Papua New Guinean.
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