Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill are urging rugby league-mad Papua New Guineans to join them and barrack for PNG Hunters in their maiden grand final appearance in Australia this weekend.
The two leaders sent their well wishes yesterday to the Hunters as well as the Prime Minister’s XIII, who will clash with Australia’s Prime Minister’s XIII in Port Moresby tomorrow.
About 4000 Papua New Guineans will be watching the Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Sunday in a bid to win Queensland’s state competition – their first ever rugby league title.
Papua New Guineans living and working in Australia are making their way to the Suncorp Stadium to watch the game.
Members of Parliament, businessmen and women, and supporters have started arriving in Brisbane, including an Air Niugini charter from Port Moresby, for the clash.
Vice-regal Sir Bob expressed his best wishes to the PNG Hunters on Sunday and the PNG XIII who play at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby tomorrow.
“You are an inspiration to our young and old alike, that no matter where they are in our country, and whatever they do, be it in sports, business or community service, they too can have an impact on the international scene and make our nation proud,” Sir Bob Dadae said.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who is in the US, will not be present when the Hunters take on the Falcons, but he has sent his highest regards and best wishes for the team.
“Ever since the PNG Hunters were admitted to the Queensland Rugby League’s Intrust Cup competition in 2014, the team has represented Papua New Guinea, and our national sport, rugby league, in the best spirit of the game and our nation,” Mr O’Neill said.
The PNG Hunters has dominated the Queensland state competition this year, winning the minor premiership, and captain Ase Boas, the best and fairest.
If the Hunters win on Sunday, their journey won’t be over. “They’ll play the winner of the New South Wales competition, in yet another match that’s sure to stop a nation,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported yesterday.