THE Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League and the PNG Hunters management must provide a proper pathway for the country’s best talent into the Australian NRL and the United kingdom’s Super League, according to former PNGRFL chairman John Numapo.
Numapo said the Hunters had lost some of its best players over the last month but only three of the six players who left had the blessing of the management.
He said it is disappointing to see the Hunters losing players, especially after a very successful season in the Queensland Cup, finishing in the top six in its inaugural season last year.
“Six players have left the Hunters with Gary Lo, Thompson Teteh, Jason Tali, Wartovo Puara Junior, Stanton Albert and Dion Aiye all going overseas to play. Mark Mexico left earlier,” Numapo said.
“The Hunters’ in the Queensland Cup had given local players the exposure they needed for the NRL scouts,” Numapo said. “The inclusion of Puara and Teteh in the train-and-trial runs with the South Sydney Rabbitohs this season is a good example. This is a positive development and worth noting.
But Numapo said the sudden departure of key players was an indication that something was no quite right with the set up at the Hunters and the PNGRFL administration.
He said a concerted effort needed to be made by the Hunters and the PNRFL to address the players’ concerns.
Numapo said PNG would continue to fall in its world ranking if the country did not have a strong and formidable home-grown team nurtured at home and the Hunters team was a good start.
He said that the recent revelation that PNG had slipped out of the top 10 in the Rugby League International Federation was shocking.
“PNG dropped from 4th to 11th in the world rankings over the course of the last two years and yet we call it our national sport,” he said.
“There is something drastically wrong.”
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36