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Possible PNG Kumuls line up for RLWC 2022


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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!!

Edited by Whagi Tumbe
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5 hours ago, Whagi Tumbe said:

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!!

History shows the Kumuls can also slump in English October/November conditions.

BTW, why Whagi Tumbe rather than Waghi Tumbe?

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1 hour ago, unapologetic pedant said:

History shows the Kumuls can also slump in English October/November conditions.

BTW, why Whagi Tumbe rather than Waghi Tumbe?

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?

Edited by Whagi Tumbe
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3 hours ago, nadera78 said:

Sam Elara - W - Wests Tigers

Bailey Biondi-Odo - SH/SO - Bulldogs

Patrick Gallen - SO - Redcliffe

Thanks mate, didn't know those three. If available, Bailey will definitely be in the starting 13, either in the halves or at hooker. 👍

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2 hours ago, Whagi Tumbe said:

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.

I`m still influenced by memories of the 1991 Kumuls tour. The results and performances were poor. And there was a story in the media that one of the players had gone missing. When they went back to the hotel, the team management found him in bed wrapped in a big overcoat.

I`ve seen a couple of items on "Loop PNG" about the Hunters` preparations for next year. It will be difficult for them being away from home, but a strong Q Cup season could see a number of Hunters strengthen their claims for Kumul selection. There`s clearly a huge amount of natural talent in the squad.

On the subject of Waghi Tumbe - I`m a big fan of Joe Frank "The Tank".

2 hours ago, Whagi Tumbe said:

Hehe... slight error there when I created my username, not sure how I can change it to Waghi Tumbe. Any advice?

I`m possibly the worst person on here to ask for digital advice. Somebody else might be along who can help.

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28 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

 

I`ve seen a couple of items on "Loop PNG" about the Hunters` preparations for next year. It will be difficult for them being away from home, but a strong Q Cup season could see a number of Hunters strengthen their claims for Kumul selection. There`s clearly a huge amount of natural talent in the squad.

On the subject of Waghi Tumbe - I`m a big fan of Joe Frank "The Tank".

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. 👍

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3 hours ago, Whagi Tumbe said:

Hehe... slight error there when I created my username, not sure how I can change it to Waghi Tumbe. Any advice?

Try sending a PM to John Drake. He may be able to fix it.

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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I remember going to watch the Tonga V NZ World Cup classic at Wilderspool which I think NZ won 25-24. 
PNG were in the same group IIRC which must be why the Kumuls squad was there watching. I know this as virtually the whole squad went for a wee in the bushes en route. Hugely noticeable as…well they were all from PNG and wearing some very bright colours on their team shell suits! 
I also remember watching PNG VS GB at Central Park in a test match. It was a cold day even for England and some of those poor Kumuls players were visibly shaking with the temperature.

I do love what PNG bring to the game and hope that they can start to emulate the likes of Tonga and Fiji.

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On 03/12/2021 at 21:58, Whagi Tumbe said:

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.

You`ve probably answered my question here for me.

When I look at the fuss that clubs are making over Brandon Smith - basically lining up to throw money at him - I see a not particularly skill-full pocket battleship who doesn`t seem to have a passing game and I think to myself there must be literally thousands of ` Brandon Smith`s `playing League or could be playing League in P.N.G. and probably with more skill thrown in.

I see this as a complete failure in the NRL player development system especially when we are in the situation like we are at the moment with a dearth of quality players on the market. What`s it going to take for Rugby League to start mining the barely untouched Rugby League gold-mine that could be P.N.G.

To rub salt in the wounds it appears to me that a lot of P.N.G. players who we have in our system often aren`t players who were picked up from the P.N.G. system but rather blokes who have an ancestor from there or whose family emigrated to Oz when they were young.

What that suggests to me is that given the small number of P.N.G. immigrants we have the fact that quite a few of them produce first grade quality players I wonder how many are of similar talent just not being developed back in P.N.G. Talk about making a rod for your own back. What are we waiting for fumbleball or soccer to move in there before we do something, because the former won`t pussy-foot around.

This new bloke for N.Q. Cowboys is a case in point; we would probably never heard of him if his family had not migrated to Oz when he was young.

Wavik: It’s one of my goals to represent my motherland - Cowboys

2 hours ago, Waynebennettswinger said:

It was a cold day even for England and some of those poor Kumuls players were visibly shaking with the temperature.

You know Wayne my father used to say to me if I said I was cold: " keep moving". I used to say it to my kids if sometimes they said to me they were cold in bed last night. Needless to say they don`t think its` funny.

P.N.G. games at the World Cup in Townsville was one of the true joys of what a celebration of Rugby League a World Cup can be.

 

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On 04/12/2021 at 17:06, The Rocket said:

You`ve probably answered my question here for me.

When I look at the fuss that clubs are making over Brandon Smith - basically lining up to throw money at him - I see a not particularly skill-full pocket battleship who doesn`t seem to have a passing game and I think to myself there must be literally thousands of ` Brandon Smith`s `playing League or could be playing League in P.N.G. and probably with more skill thrown in.

I see this as a complete failure in the NRL player development system especially when we are in the situation like we are at the moment with a dearth of quality players on the market. What`s it going to take for Rugby League to start mining the barely untouched Rugby League gold-mine that could be P.N.G.

To rub salt in the wounds it appears to me that a lot of P.N.G. players who we have in our system often aren`t players who were picked up from the P.N.G. system but rather blokes who have an ancestor from there or whose family emigrated to Oz when they were young.

What that suggests to me is that given the small number of P.N.G. immigrants we have the fact that quite a few of them produce first grade quality players I wonder how many are of similar talent just not being developed back in P.N.G. Talk about making a rod for your own back. What are we waiting for fumbleball or soccer to move in there before we do something, because the former won`t pussy-foot around.

This new bloke for N.Q. Cowboys is a case in point; we would probably never heard of him if his family had not migrated to Oz when he was young.

Wavik: It’s one of my goals to represent my motherland - Cowboys

You know Wayne my father used to say to me if I said I was cold: " keep moving". I used to say it to my kids if sometimes they said to me they were cold in bed last night. Needless to say they don`t think its` funny.

P.N.G. games at the World Cup in Townsville was one of the true joys of what a celebration of Rugby League a World Cup can be.

 

Highlights of the Kumuls' 2008 World Cup match against England in Townsville.

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On 05/12/2021 at 08:06, The Rocket said:

You`ve probably answered my question here for me.

When I look at the fuss that clubs are making over Brandon Smith - basically lining up to throw money at him - I see a not particularly skill-full pocket battleship who doesn`t seem to have a passing game and I think to myself there must be literally thousands of ` Brandon Smith`s `playing League or could be playing League in P.N.G. and probably with more skill thrown in.

I see this as a complete failure in the NRL player development system especially when we are in the situation like we are at the moment with a dearth of quality players on the market. What`s it going to take for Rugby League to start mining the barely untouched Rugby League gold-mine that could be P.N.G.

To rub salt in the wounds it appears to me that a lot of P.N.G. players who we have in our system often aren`t players who were picked up from the P.N.G. system but rather blokes who have an ancestor from there or whose family emigrated to Oz when they were young.

What that suggests to me is that given the small number of P.N.G. immigrants we have the fact that quite a few of them produce first grade quality players I wonder how many are of similar talent just not being developed back in P.N.G. Talk about making a rod for your own back. What are we waiting for fumbleball or soccer to move in there before we do something, because the former won`t pussy-foot around.

This new bloke for N.Q. Cowboys is a case in point; we would probably never heard of him if his family had not migrated to Oz when he was young.

Wavik: It’s one of my goals to represent my motherland - Cowboys

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.

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On 04/12/2021 at 22:06, The Rocket said:

I see this as a complete failure in the NRL player development system especially when we are in the situation like we are at the moment with a dearth of quality players on the market. What`s it going to take for Rugby League to start mining the barely untouched Rugby League gold-mine that could be P.N.G.

Probably the best system would be for each NRL franchise to license one of their feeder clubs to run a junior league in a specific PNG province. Good example would be Sunshine Coast Falcons in Justin Olam`s home province Chimbu.

An NRL club would want an in situ coach/administrator to ensure efficacy and probity in the use of their investment. And there`s the rub. How many Aussie blokes, particularly if they have a family, would be willing to relocate full-time to PNG?

No offence intended to Papuans, but the crime situation in certain parts is horrendous. I saw a documentary on Al Jazeera about law enforcement in PNG. Hard to decide which was the more disturbing - the brazen nihilism of the "Raskols" or the brutality and corruption of the police. 

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On 11/12/2021 at 01:07, unapologetic pedant said:

Probably the best system would be for each NRL franchise to license one of their feeder clubs to run a junior league in a specific PNG province. Good example would be Sunshine Coast Falcons in Justin Olam`s home province Chimbu.

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. 

On 11/12/2021 at 01:07, unapologetic pedant said:

An NRL club would want an in situ coach/administrator to ensure efficacy and probity in the use of their investment. And there`s the rub. How many Aussie blokes, particularly if they have a family, would be willing to relocate full-time to PNG?

No offence intended to Papuans, but the crime situation in certain parts is horrendous. I saw a documentary on Al Jazeera about law enforcement in PNG. Hard to decide which was the more disturbing - the brazen nihilism of the "Raskols" or the brutality and corruption of the police.

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.😅👍

 

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1 hour ago, Waghi Tumbe said:

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. 

This is roughly what I was suggesting - Rationalize a pathway from PNG local junior league, through to NRL feeder club, through to NRL franchise. Where the NRL feeder club would augment an existing PNG set-up as an extension of their junior structure in QLD or NSW. This should ensure far more Papuans are playing organized football at a younger age and also that talent can be identified earlier.

As with all player development, a consideration that deters an NRL franchise from this type of investment is that any first-grade players produced will only be with the club for as long as they can fit them under the salary cap or until a rival tables a higher offer.

Ideally, all roads won`t lead to the NRL. If we wish RL to be a major global sport, we must aim for more than 1 or 2 leagues to provide professional playing opportunities and generate public interest. The Digicel Cup could be a huge wealthy competition if the PNG economy experienced comparable levels of growth to the more successful Asian nations.

1 hour ago, Waghi Tumbe said:

 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. 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. 

I know this is a side issue. - The programme I saw was filmed mainly in Port Moresby. I take your point about criminal bravado, but the incident where a completely innocent suspect was duffed up by police then let go didn`t look staged. Nor did another where a shop owner assumed the police were there to collect protection money when they arrived to investigate a robbery.

On the positive side, RL crowds in PNG always appear well-behaved. Back in the 80s and 90s if there were disturbances at Kumuls v Lions games, the reports we got back indicated the cause was the police letting off tear gas in gratuitous over-reaction to crowd enthusiasm.

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