Category Archives: Sport

Hunters Clip Falcons To Win Grand Final

Troy Taule

The SP Hunters made history this afternoon-beating the Sunshine Coast Falcons 12-10 in the Intrust Super Grand final at Suncorp Stadium, Australia.

The win was sealed two minutes out from full time with a try from Willie Minoga off an Ase Boas grubber.

The Hunters found themselves behind on the scoreboard after only two minutes when some second man play from the Falcons on the halfway line created space out wide for Matthew Soper-Lawler to race away and score.

The Falcons were in again four minutes later after a short ball from Ryley Jacks send a charging Joe Stimson over the line.

Stimson then added the extras to extend the Falcons lead.

Ball security was the problem for the Hunters and several visits inside their opponent’s half proved fruitless.

But the Hunters muscled up in defence determined not to leak any more points.

This ensured the score was left at 10-0 at the break.

The second half for the Falcons got off to the worst possible start after a knock on from the kick off.

And the Hunters made them pay dearly when Watson Boas was awarded a try by the video referee.

With a successful conversion from brother Ase, the game was right back in the balance.

More dropped balls close to the line from the Hunters denied them opportunities to push to the front.

This took the pressure right off the Falcons, and with the clock winding down, it was going to take something special to produce points.

With just minutes remaining, a penalty in their own half was all the Hunters needed.

40 metres out and with a full set of six, the Hunters were within striking range.

It came in the 78th minute off the boot of the captain and five-eighth, Ase who stabbed a kick in behind the try line for a flying Minoga to slam the ball down.

After being reviewed upstairs, the try was awarded and the score was locked up at 10-10.

It was the most important kick of his career. Cool as a cucumber, Ase slotted the winner through the posts with ease, to become the first team outside of Australia to win the Queensland Rugby League competition.

The win came with tears for both sides.

For the Hunters, it was tears of joy for the 8 million people of PNG that they vowed to win the grand final for.


NRL must expand comp to include Hunters, says Johns

Source: The National

RUGBY league personality  Matthew Johns says the NRL is going down the wrong path in terms of expansion and the Papua New Guinea Hunters must be the next team to join the competition.

Cities like Perth and Adelaide are frequently touted as possible locations as part of a strategic plan to grow the sport and plans for a second team in Brisbane has been on the agenda for a decade.
But Johns says the game’s administrators are guilty of tunnel vision in their pursuit of growth and should be targeting the Hunters as the next team to join the NRL.

The Hunters have been an instant success since their inaugural season in the Queensland Cup in 2014 and are one win away from being crowned this year’s premiers.
Johns believes the inclusion of the PNG side will revolutionise the NRL like the West Indies did for cricket in the 1980s.


“I urge the game to think out of the square, go away from their traditional thinking. We look at the game too narrowly and we look at the Australian continent … we keep talking that ‘we want Perth, we want Perth’ and I get that,” Johns said on Triple M’s The Grill Team.
“(But) The Pacific Islands, that’s where the growth is.

“We’ve got a situation this weekend in the Queensland Cup, the Sunshine Coast are playing against the PNG Hunters.
“It is the most underestimated story in rugby league that the PNG Hunters are in the Queensland Cup grand final, the second best competition in rugby league outside of the NRL … I put it on par with the English Super League, it is that strong of a competition.

“Last weekend in Port Moresby to get into the game [preliminary final] they were lining up for 24 hours to watch the game.

“What are we doing? When’s our plan to bring them in?

“They could be the West Indies. The West Indies revolutionised cricket in the 80s and they could do the same thing for rugby league”.

Johns played as five-eighth for the Newcastle Knights, playing outside his younger brother Andrew Johns at halfback for nine seasons.

Johns was part of the Australian squad that won the 1995 Rugby League World Cup and went on to play eight matches for his country.



He also played four State of Origin series matches for New South Wales.



Another highlight of his career with the Knights was the 1997 ARL grand final win over the Manly Sea Eagles.

Johns was of the Australian team at the 1999 Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against New Zealand he scored a try in the Kangaroos’ 22-20 victory.– Daily Telegraph

PNG and Solomon up for ‘Battle of the Wantok’

Loop PNG

Charles Kadamana

August 25, 2017 10.08am

Papua New Guinea Basketball reigning club champion KSS Southern Flames is promising to give a strong competition for all to enjoy when they meet Solomon Island National Men’s team next week.

Basketball players and supporters in Honiara are anticipating the friendly match to be full of actions

Described as “Battle of the Wantok” both teams will play three matches and the winner will receive a trophy sponsored by KSS Southern Flames.

KSS Southern Flames are the three-time reigning champions of the PNG Men’s Basketball League (PMBL 2014 /2015/2016) and have been invited by the Solomon Islands Basketball Federation (SIBF) to play against the men’s national squad in their build up towards the up-coming FIBA Melanesia Cup in PNG, later in September.

Led by well-known sports promoter and owner of Hekari Soccer Club in PNG, John Kappi-Natto and his wife Vonnie, the KSS Southern Flames are basketball’s equivalent of Capturethe top soccer and rugby clubs managed by the couple in PNG. Since joining the PMBL, the semi-pro league in PNG in 2014, KSS Southern Flames have dominated the


competition, and are now looking to go a further fourth year running as champions.
Vonnie Natto, who is also the GM to the visiting KSS Southern Flames team, explained in a recent visit to Honiara that they are looking forward to the trip.

She thanked SIBF for the invitation and promised to make sure a good strong competition is set-up for all to enjoy.

“We are looking forward to giving Solomon Islands a good game as part of their preparation for the FIBA Melanesia Cup 2017,” Vonnie explained in an email.

“It will be a best of three matches and whoever wins two games will take the trophy donated by our group as part of our support towards Solomon Islands”.

According to reports, this will be the second time the same basketball club visits Honiara. The last visit included a women’s team and it was during the basketball glory days of the mid-1990s’ when John and Vonnie brought over their maiden Souths Basketball teams. The couple continues to support sports in both countries.

KSS Sothern Flames will arrive in Honiara on Tuesday 29 August, and will commence their quest in the “battle of the wantoks” on Wednesday at the Multipurpose Hall against the Solomon Islands Men’s national basketball squad starting at 5pm. They return to PNG on Saturday 2 September 2017.

PM Welcomes AFL’s Growing Popularity

Source: Loop PNG

The Prime Minister says the growing popularity of AFL in Papua New Guinea is positive and provides another outlet for the nation’s youth to be healthier and participate in team sports.



He issued the statement following the PNG Mosquitoes’ victory in Melbourne this weekend, making them back-to-back champions.



“I welcome the growing popularity of Aussie Rules in Papua New Guinea,” says PM Peter O’Neill.



“It is a unique game in the world of sports and is another way that Papua New Guineans and Australians can form stronger bonds.



“There is plenty of room for the different codes of football to expand in Papua New Guinea.



“Our people will always have a great passion for rugby league, but we are a sports-loving nation and we will watch sports of all codes.”



The PM pointed out how popular soccer has become with the FIFA Women’s Under 20 World Cup, including rugby union’s growing supporter base.



“The Government will continue to encourage and develop grassroots sports around the country, as well as supporting the development of high performance athletes,” states O’Neill.



“We have some great athletes in our country who compete on the world stage.



“I congratulate all players, coaches, and staff for their hard work to win the AFL International Cup and bring the trophy back to Papua New Guinea.



“Perhaps some of our young PNG Mozzies were spotted by talent scouts and they might have the opportunity to wear the jumper of an AFL team one day.”


Minor title in sight



THE PNG Hunters play perhaps their most important game of the regular season on Sunday against ninth-placed Wynnum Manly Seagulls at the National Football Stadium.
The prize: the 2017 Intrust Super Cup minor premiership.

If Michael Marum’s men win they secure the top spot heading into the finals and their first minor title since joining the competition in 2014.

Marum has advised his troops to remain calm and focused on the task at hand.
“This is an important game for us. We know that we have to win this,” Marum said.
The other draw will be the rugby league fan’s first chance to see Kumuls captain David Mead live in action against the Hunters for the first time.

Marum said he was aware the Seagulls, while out of finals contention were bringing up a strong outfit and if his side were not switched on they could be embarrassed in front of their home fans – something his charges want to avoid at all costs.
The sides are meeting for the first time this season but importantly the visitors have yet to beat the Hunters on home soil.

The Hunters have lost twice (Norths in round 4 and Tweed Heads in round 15) and drawn one (Mackay in round 20) at home already but with so much at stake Marum said the occasion would spur his men on.

“It is also going to be our last home game of the regular round and we know that there will be a lot of people coming to support us,” Marum said.
The Hunters proved in their 24-16 win over the Blackhawks last round that they have the championship-winning defence, they just have to maintain that good form at home.

Through their video sessions this week, Marum and his men had seen the style of football Wynnum play and with a host of quality players any effort less than 100 per cent will not be enough.

“We haven’t played them this year and we can’t write them off because there are on the ninth spot. We will have to be at our best again,” Marum said.
The 43-year old has instructed his men to back up their solid defence displayed last week if they are to finish victorious.

“We want to repeat the same defensive effort from last week.”
Aside from Mead, experienced former North Queensland Cowboys five-eighth Travis Burns, hard-running winger Peter Gubb, captain Mitch frei and Salesi Funaki in the back-row and five-eighth Shaun Nona will provide the Hunters with a stern test.

“They’re coming up with some experienced players including David (Mead) so we have to handle that challenge and get the win.”

The day’s other fixtures will see the Motu Koita Rugby League Origin sides, Central Origin and NCD Origin face off at 12.50pm followed by the Digicel Cup round 14 match between the Port Moresby Vipers and Waghi Tumbe which is after the Hunters-Seagulls 3pm game.

Hunters: 1.Stargroth Amean, 2. Bland Abavu, 3. Israel Eliab, 4. Willie Minoga, 5. Butler Morris, 6. Ase Boas (C), 7. Watson Boas, 8. Wellington Albert (VC), 9. Wartovo Puara Jr, 14 Enoch Maki, 11. David Loko, 12. Nixon Put, 13. Stanton Albert; Reserves: 20. Wawa Paul, 15. Rhadley Brawa, 16. Moses Meninga, 17. Karo Kauna Jr, 18. Esau Siune, 19. Brandy Peter, 20. Adex Wera

Rd 24 fixtures: Sat, Aug 19 – Jets v Cutters; Sun, Aug 20 – TH Seagulls v Pride, Magpies v Capras, Hunters v WM Seagulls. Bye: Blackhawks, Falcons, Dolphins, Bears, Tigers, Devils.

Flames face Fiji in playoff


By Ben Vile of AFLPNG Media

THE Papua New Guinea women’s AFL team the Flames head into their International Cup fifth-place playoff match today against Fiji Vonu,  they can get a positive result after Tuesday’s 150-0 win over Pakistan.

The Vonu have been one of the highlights of the IC17, taking it up to top-ranked teams Canada and Great Britain in close losses, and recording huge wins against the European Crusaders and Pakistan.

Likewise, the Flames competed hard in tough matches going down to Ireland and USA, then showing their flair and skill in big victories over the Crusaders and Pakistan.
Fiji play their football hard and fast.  With a number of players with rugby backgrounds, the Vonu have the ability to floor opposition teams with pure force and speed.

Overall, a heavier and taller side, Fiji will look to expose this advantage against their PNG opponents, combined with explosive play.

Flames coach Jonathan Ila is expecting a tight match against Fiji.
“Their strengths are that they’re are a physical side and stick to their structures well,” Ila said.

“However, I think we have more speed than them across the ground, especially in the centre where we have quality ball runners.
“It will be a hot contest in the first quarter but once the game settles we need to use our run and carry to advantage and the game will open up.”
The Flames will look to use the same midfield tactics that saw them dominate against Pakistan.

“Our ruckman Elma Emil has the ability to tap or punch the ball to the advantage of our midfielders. Our midfielders must set up correctly and be on the move when they receive the ball.”

Ila reshuffled his side in the Pakistan clash in what proved to be a coaching master stroke.
Identifying his side’s failure to capitalise on Emil’s ruck dominance in previous matches, he injected Brigid Gaur, Alice Alois and Phyllia Pisep into the midfield, while moving Taiva Lavai and Vanessa Pisep forward.

Both competitive beasts, Gaur and Alois continually got first hands on the ball and racked up centre clearances with quick kicks or running the ball out of the middle.
“Brigid’s injection into the centre brought havoc to the opposition, she just has a massive heart and always gives her all,” Ila said.

Meanwhile, the class and finishing skills of Lavai and Vanessa Pisep were resulting in goals or marks to Flames forwards deep in their forward line.
The Flames will miss their captain Prudence Sindriwen, Manicha Mettakaisava and Virginia Kiwathrough injury, while pocket rocket rover Vaine Lai will struggle to prove her fitness with an ankle injury.

The Flames girls will be looking to ignite the fire and finish their IC17 campaign with a bang today at 10:45am on McAlister Oval, Royal Park, Melbourne.

We’ll Pick The Best: Marum

August 17, 2017

The National Sports

Article Views: 146

PAPUA New Guinea Kumuls coach Michael Marum says he will consider all top level rugby league players in the Australian National Rugby League, the English Super League and the Q-Cup for spots in his World Cup squad.

With Port Moresby to host three World Cup matches for the first time against Wales (Oct 28), Ireland (Nov 5) and USA (Nov 12), several high profile players have already declared their availability for PNG.

Marum said he had no problem having NRL experienced players such as Cronulla Sharks hooker Segeyaro and Souths Sydney Rabbitohs back Alex Johnston in the Kumuls after the pair came out in the Australian media this month offering to play for PNG.
North Queensland Cowboys hooker/half Ray Thompson, who is set to retire at the end of the year has also put his hand up for a World Cup spot.

“Segeyaro and Johnston are both NRL experienced players. There are both playing in a level higher than the Hunters players and we all know that getting to that level is not easy,” Marum said.

“If there are both available for selection, their inclusion would boost our performance at the World Cup.
“Playing at home doesn’t mean that we will have it easy against Wales, Ireland and the USA because they will bring quality sides with some NRL talent.

“So whoever is fit and available and is playing well at the top level competitions, we will consider them, because we want the best for the country,” Marum said.
Nene Macdonald (St George Illawarra Dragons) and Kato Ottio (Canberra Raiders) are expected to be considered if fit and healthy.

Rod Griffin and Rhyse Martin (Canterbury Bulldogs) who played for PNG in the Pacific test against the Cook Islands earlier this year are also in the running.
Marum said the selectors would also consider players Europe with England-based Mark Mexico, Garry Lo, Jason Tali, Paul Aiton and Jessie Joe Nandye to come under consideration.

Other players in the Q-Cup outside of the Hunters are the Pandia brothers Richard and Sebastian (Ipswich Jets) who have already represented PNG, incumbent Kumuls prop Luke Page (Burleigh Bears), Tommy Butterfield (Easts Tigers).

The latest player to be eligible to play for PNG is Cowboys squad member and Townsville Blackhawks five-eighth Kyle Laybutt.

Kumul selectors have already begun their task monitoring players to finalise a train-on squad that will be used for selection.
“With 73 days to go before the World Cup we are on track with our preparations making sure all the small things are sorted out for the World Cup, the PM’s 13 and the Tri-Series in Fiji,” Marum added

Meanwhile Marum said the PM’s 13 team for this year in Sept 23 might draw in players from the Digicel Cup to take up spots due to the Hunters focus on the Q-Cup finals.


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