2013 bought one of the biggest years to date for PNG Rugby League From the Local to the International Scene has they ever been such a full on calendar for PNG Rugby League . The answer is no we have never had such a full on Representative Calender starting in Febuary .
In Febuary Cabramatta Nines saw The PNG Residents cause many upsets in the Tournament and win it .
A week later PNG Residents played South Sydney Rabbitohs in there annual trial match : Return to Redfern . The Residents showed glimpses of class but went down
38-12 highlight of the game was seeing Israel Eliab score those 2 tries one was a length of the field chip and chase .
On the local scene saw DIGICEL Cup team Agmark Gurias play The Northern Pride in Cairns for a pre season trial match . This was a game The Gurias lead from kick off they really stuck it to the Pride all game . Ase Boas was the best on park that night kicking the winning field goal to secure the win .
We had 3 PNG boys play NRL this year : James Segeyaro transfered to Penrith Panthers in the off season . He went on to have one of best seasons to date . Added so much flare and ethusitism from the bench .
David Mead started the season strong had a few injury setbacks with 2 broken jaws in one season . But Mead was shifted to Fullback mid season to cover for long term injuries . He actually showed his versatile and playing making skills from the back .
Ray Thompson started the season from the bench getting switched from hooker to half from Coach Neil Henry . By mid season he adjusted to starting Hooker and was a hit from dummy half showed his versatile . He received a shocking injury pre finals with a sickening broken jaw .
We had a few in Under 20's Holden Cup
Rhyse Martin : Sydney City Roosters
Rhyse was the captain this year lead by example every game . Played very strong for The Roosters
Nene McDonald: unstoppable from fullback and wing . Caused plenty of havoc outwide a future star .
Jono Kent: Canberra Raiders played wing played a few games for The Raiders the games I seen he looked very sharp will be a future star .
Intrust Super Cup saw a few PNG boys playing for numerous teams
Joe Bond : Redcliffe Dolphins had a great season for the Mighty Fins played well in halves has really stamped that 5/8 position with his passing , speed and kicking game .
Tommy Butterfield: Switched clubs to Easts Tigers this year was an instant hit from Dummy Half was the most consistent for The Tigers all year .
Rod Griffin: turned out for Ipswich Jets coming off the bench playing second row and prop was probably in career best form.
Tu'u Maori : Had a good season for The Jets was had a few injuries which prevented him playing all year . The games he played was unstoppable in the centres for The Jets.
Kurt Baptise : Played for Norths Devil had a very good year but was plagued with injuries but the games he played for Devils was unstoppable from Dummy Half .
Tyson Martin: Played a few games for Mackay Cutters but was injury prone this season didn't play many .
In the UK our PNG boys were in career best form .
Paul Aiton : Super League Wakefield was voted there best all year by the club . Paul was a standout for The Wildcats one of there best all year .
Jason Chan: Super League Huddersfield playing second row had a great season at Giants played well all year .
Menzie Yere: Co Op Sheffield Eagles
The Jukebox was in career best form too try scorer in the league . Smashed club records all year probably his best season at the Eagles to date .
Jesse Joe Parker : Co Op Whitehaven . JJP became a cult figure in his second season at Haven was there top Tryscorer one of there most consistent
Rodney Pora: Co Op Whitehaven
Rodney finally made it to Haven after visas delays but he hit the ground running the first few games . But needed more match fitness finally trained hard and got match fit due to family reasons he returned home . early .
France we had 2 PNG boys applying there trade there .
Toulouse : Kuni Minga playing centre from TNA Simbu Lions in his second year in France loving every minute and scoring plenty of tries .
Realmont : Rahdly Brawa playing centre or second in his first season in France . He came from TNA Simbu Lions too . Has become a cult figure for his club .
USA we had 2 PNG boys playing in there comp for The Jacksonville Axemen in Florida.
Jesse Wehere plays second row for The Axemen enjoying playing over there while studying .
Jay Mombu plays second row too he is also studying been dubbed the headhunter over there by fans .
Mid year June/ July School holidays saw our National PNG Schoolboys under 16's , under 18's come down for a week long tour of Brisbane . Where our National Schoolboys played local high schools Wavell State high , Ipswich State high , QLD PNG and Redcliffe Dolphins . With mixed results a few wins and a few losses it was a great experience for all Schoolboys who got selected . Look forward to seeing them in 2014
We had Team Kumuls camps to prepare our local boys for the WC . The camps were run by Mal Meninga and Adrian Lam they out together a program to prepare our boys for the WC . The camps were held in different provinces every month . Once a month the boys will go into camp for 5 days to learn drills , game plans , fitness etc
DIGICEL Cup produced another great year of local PNG rugby league . In the end there were 5 contenders in the finals : Agmark Gurias , Lae Snax Tigers , POM Vipers , Goroka Lahanis and Enga Mioks . Well fought final series it was a
Vipers vs Lahanis GF with The
Port Moresby Vipers taking out the Trophy.
Prelude to the WC selection
Team Red vs Team Gold
In a massive upset favourites Team Gold lost to Team Red in Port Moresby . The star studded Team Gold were expected to hammer Team Red quiet convincably but lead by Paul Aiton Team Red caused a massive upset to win .
A week later sees The PM Xlll taking to Kokopo first the time ever . This would the first representative game for the NGI's since 92 when the Great Britain played there . This was the strongest Australian PM Xlll squad ever sent to PNG . James Segeyaro torn his pectoral muscle in the first tackle was carried off and later found out was ruled out of the WC . But the Kangaroos was on fire that day and a few positional changes to key players didn't help our cause but Nene McDonald and Francus Paniu scored 2 great tries for us .
The 2013 RLWC
Our first warm up game against Scotland the boys played a near perfect game in all aspects and came away with the win . A great start to our WC preparations .
A week later we play France there were a few questionable position changes in key positions . Our boys never looked comfortable all game . But we did manage to score a few . But France hung in there to the death . It all came down to a penalty kick and unfortunately David Mead missed it we loose 8-9 .
A week later we face the might of the pacific Samoa . The Samoans were on fire in that game we couldn't match there shear size and line speed and go down in a very tough encounter .
Our last WC match against NZ Kiwis in a very physical encounter SBW was unstoppable the first half the Kiwis ran riot over us . The secondhand our boys dug deep played a near perfect half give it to the kiwis and we got a constellation try set up by Dion Aiye showing and going running bout 30m to JJP who takes off and passes inside to PNG schoolboy Wellington Albert to score .
The wash up of RLWC we played many players out of there preferred positions and we never got the results we wanted . If we played these players in there preferred positions would it have made a difference in all 3 games . My personal opinion is yes we would have rolled France . A week later put a fight against The Samoans. We definitely wouldn't have matched the kiwis . But everyone was proud to see the PNG Kumuls play in the WC reguards less the scores . The boys done us proud in my books .
Fast forward Late November PNG gain entry into 2014 Intrust Super Cup . They will be called PNG SP Hunters they will be based in Kokopo for 2 yrs while The Lloyd Robson Oval in getting rebuilt for 2015 . We must give credit where it is due to Brad Tassell, Shane Morris working behind the scenes with QRL to make this happen . This will give our boys a new pathway to getting recruited to NRL or SL . This will defiantely lift the standard of PNG rugby league to a higher level we have never seen before . Playing week in week out in the second strongest comp in the world .
As you can see it has been the biggest year for PNG rugby league on all fronts we had the Highs and the Lows from all aspects . You can never say there's a dull moment in PNG rugby league . Thank you to all the PNG players who made this a special year for everyone . There will always been support for any Wantok playing at home and overseas . We look forward to a Bigger year in 2014
Happy New Year Olgeta Wantoks