Papua New Guinea national rugby league team

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Papua New Guinea
Badge of Papua New Guinea team
Nickname The Kumuls
Governing body Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League
Region Oceania
Head coach Adrian Lam
Captain Neville Costigan
Most caps Stanley Gene (16)
Home stadium Lloyd Robson Oval
RLIF ranking 6th
Colours
First game
 England 40–12 Papua New Guinea 
(Port Moresby, PNG; 6 July 1975)
Biggest win
 Cook Islands 6–86 Papua New Guinea 
(Port Moresby, PNG; November 1998
Biggest defeat
 Australia 82–0 Papua New Guinea 
(Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville; 7 October 2000)
World Cup
Appearances 4 (first time in 1988)
Best result Quarter-finals, 2000

The Papua New Guinea national rugby league team represents Papua New Guinea internationally in the sport of rugby league football.

In Papua New Guinea, Rugby league is highly popular and is regarded as the country’s national sport. The national side are known as the Kumuls (bird of paradise in Tok Pisin). Many Papua New Guinean players have left the country in order to pursue professional rugby league careers in Great Britain and Australia.

A team representing Papua New Guinea (generally made up of a mixture of locally based players and International Players) plays an Australian Prime Minister's XIII in an annual match in Port Moresby at the Lloyd Robson Oval. The Australian side consists mostly of developing players from the premier competition the National Rugby League (NRL), as well as a couple of veterans.

History[edit]

Rugby league was first played in Papua New Guinea in the late forties; it was introduced to the nation by Australian soldiers stationed there during and after the Second World War. Papua New Guinea were admitted to the game’s International Federation in 1974. On 6 July 1975, at Lloyd Robnson Oval, in Port Moresby the Kumuls played their first ever international. They were beaten 40-12 by England. The English team were en route to Australia and New Zealand to fulfil away fixtures during the 1975 World Cup.

They first entered the Rugby League World Cup for the 1985-89 competition, though it was not until 1995 that they won away from home. In 1987 The Kumuls stage their first full test playing tour of Britain, after playing BARLA opposition in 1979. They lost the test 42-0 at Central Park, Wigan.

On Tuesday 20 October 1987, that Cumbria met Papua New Guinea before a crowd of 3,750 at the Recreation Ground, Whitehaven. Cumbria won 22-4. Four days later they played a World Cup rated Test against Great Britain.

During the 1988 Great Britain Lions tour of Australasia a Test match was played at Port Moresby. Later that year Papua New Guinea played a World Cup match against Australia in Wagga Wagga, the Kangaroos recording a then international record winning margin of 62 points with a 70-8 win. Australian winger Michael O'Connor crossed for four tries and kicked seven goals for a personal points haul of 30, which could have been 44 had he not missed seven kicks at goal. In 1991 Papua New Guinea played host to a touring Great Britain, the series ended in a 1-1 draw.

On Sunday 27 October 1991, Papua New Guinea met Wales at Vetch Field, Swansea. Roared on by a fervent crowd of 11,422; Wales won by a record 68-0 margin, scoring thirteen tries. Papua New Guinea never recovered and lost all five matches in Britain, conceding 232 points in the process, and won only one of their four matches in France.

Papua New Guinea wound up their 1991 tour of Europe with a World Cup rated Test match against France, which was played on Sunday 24 November at the Stade Albert Domec, Carcassonne. Despite Papua New Guinea leading 8-4 at half-time; France defeated their visitors 28-14.

The Kumuls hosted Australia for a two test series in October 1991 (won 2-0 by the Kangaroos), and also hosted Great Britain during the 1992 Lions tour of Australasia.

Papua New Guinea travelled to England to compete in the 1995 World Cup under coach Joe Tokam and captain Adrian Lam.[1] In their group was Tonga and New Zealand, against whom they failed to win a match.

In 1996 Bob Bennett, brother of the famous Wayne Bennett, was appointed the Kumuls' coach.[2] And Bob Bennett the coach of the 2000 World Cup Kumuls team made the qualification two the pool were the kumuls made it into the top 5 team in the world so the 2000 World Cup Kumuls team was granted the best kumuls team. In 2005 Papua New Guinea beat the Australian Prime Minister's XIII 24-16 in Darwin. This was the first win over any Australian based national side. In 2007 Papua New Guinea drew with Australia PM XIII 24-24.

They were granted automatic qualification to the 2008 World Cup but were placed in a pool with the top three teams, Australia, New Zealand and England, and failed to win a match in the tournament.

2010 controversy[edit]

The Papua New Guinea team experienced huge difficulties leading to the 2010 Rugby League Four Nations Tournament, as politicians clashed for control over the game and the governing body, the PNGRFL, was split over issues concerning junior development, the national team and the Papua New Guinea NRL bid. This caused Adrian Lam to retire as head coach of the Kumuls in September 2010[3][4] while recently retired captain Stanley Gene, who had never coached a side before, was named his replacement.[5] The governing board were adamant that more Papua New Guinea-based players should be in the squad, and fewer Australia-based players should be picked. In early October the squad was announced for the tournament and consisted of 12 PNG-based players with captain Paul Aiton being the only NRL player.[6] Whilst the Australian team for the tournament was worth an estimated A$10 million, local newspapers calculated the Kumuls value at around A$670,000.

Despite the Australian media treating the defeat of the Papua New Guinean team as a mere formality, with the team having odds of 125-1 to win the tournament, the players and journalists at home were positive that the Kumuls could make a lasting impression in the tournament.[7] After their first up 42-0 defeat against Australia, the team's enthusiasm and crunching tackles were praised, but ball control and creativity let the team down hugely.[8] However the team faced much more criticism after their 76-12 thrashing suffered at the hands of New Zealand, with fans angry at the poor display from the players[9] and some questioning the credentials of new coach Stanley Gene.[10] Days after the match a broader look at the sport in the country occurred with one assessment concluding that rugby league was poorly managed[11] and former PNG great Marcus Bai called on clubs to supply a greater number of representative standard players especially from the New Guinea Islands region which had supplied five of this year's team.[12] The way politics had made its way into the governing of the sport was also condemned.[13]

Return To Redfern[edit]

On the 9th of February 2013, Papua New Guinea played a trial game against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, at Redfern Oval. They lost 38-12.

2013 World Cup Squad[edit]

Papua New Guinea Squad for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, where the kumuls will play France, Samoa and New Zealand.


2013 PNG Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach



Legend:
  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain

Updated: 1 October 2013
Source(s): 2013 World Cup Squad


Past results[edit]

Country Matches Won Drawn Lost
Total 70 18 2 50
 Australia 12 0 0 12
 Cook Islands 2 2 0 0
 England 3 0 0 3
 Fiji 6 5 0 1
 France 13 4 1 8
 Great Britain 8 1 0 7
 New Zealand 17 1 0 16
 South Africa 1 1 0 0
 Tonga 5 4 1 0
 Wales 3 0 0 3

Victories are shown in bold.

Official Rankings as of December 2013[14]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Steady  Australia 1,108.00
2  New Zealand 742.00
3  England 570.00
4  France 233.00
5 Increase  Fiji 201.00
6 Decrease  Wales 173.00
7  Papua New Guinea 166.00
8  Samoa 145.00
9 Steady  Ireland 128.00
10  United States 127.00
11 Decrease  Scotland 101.00
12 Increase  Italy 84.00
13 Decrease  Tonga 54.00
14  Cook Islands 48.00
15  Russia 42.00
16 Steady  Canada 40.00
17 Decrease  Serbia 38.00
18  Germany 30.00
19  Norway 28.00
20  Lebanon 23.00
21 Increase  Ukraine 19.00
22 Decrease  Malta 19.00
23  Jamaica 15.00
24 Increase  Netherlands 10.00
25 Decrease  South Africa 8.00
26  Denmark 6.00
27  Czech Republic 5.00
28 Increase New  Greece 5.00
29 Decrease  Belgium 4.00
30  Latvia 4.00
31  Sweden 1.00
32 Steady New  Hungary 1.00
33 Steady New  Morocco 0.00
  • 2010: England def. Papua New Guinea 36-10, Eden Park, New Zealand - 2010 Four Nations
  • 2010: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 76-12, Rotorua International Stadium, New Zealand - 2010 Four Nations
  • 2010: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 42-0, Parramatta Stadium - 2010 Four Nations
  • 2009: Papua New Guinea def. Cook Islands 42-14, Port Moresby - 2009 Pacific cup final
  • 2009: Papua New Guinea def. Tonga 44-14, Port Moresby - 2009 Pacific Cup
  • 2009: Papua New Guinea def. Fiji 14-2, Port Moresby
  • 2009: Papua New Guinea def. Fiji 64-10, Port Moresby
  • 2008: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 46-6, Dairy Farmers Stadium (Townsville) 2008 World Cup
  • 2008: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 48-6 Skilled Park (Robina) 2008 World Cup
  • 2008: England def. Papua New Guinea 32-22 Dairy Fairmers Stadium (Townsville) 2008 World Cup
  • 2007: France def. Papua New Guinea 38-26 Parc des Sports (Avignon)
  • 2007: France def Papua New Guinea 22-16 Stade Andre Moga, Begles (Bordeaux)
  • 2007: Wales def Papua New Guinea 50-10 Bridgend, Wales
  • 2005: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 70-22 Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
  • 2001: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 54-12 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 2001: Papua New Guinea def. France 34-24 Danny Leahy Oval (Goroka)
  • 2001: France def. Papua New Guinea 27-16 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 2000: Wales def. Papua New Guinea 22-8 Widnes, England (2000 World Cup Quarter Final)
  • 2000: Papua New Guinea def. Tonga 30-22 St. Esteve, France (2000 World Cup)
  • 2000: Papua New Guinea def. South Africa 16-0 Toulouse, France (2000 World Cup)
  • 2000: Papua New Guinea def. France 23-20 Stade Charlety, Paris, France (2000 World Cup)
  • 2000: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 82-0 Dairy Dairmers Stadium (Townsville)
  • 1998: Papua New Guinea def. Tonga 54-12 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1998: Papua New Guinea def. Tonga 44-28 Wabag
  • 1998: Papua New Guinea def. Cook Islands 46-6 Lae
  • 1998: Fiji def. Papua New Guinea 14-10 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1998: Papua New Guinea def. Fiji 34-12 Minj, Fiji
  • 1998: Papua New Guinea def. Fiji 16-14 Lautoka, Fiji
  • 1996: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 64-0 Palmerston North Showgrounds
  • 1996: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 62-8 International Stadium, Rotorua
  • 1996: Great Britain def. Papua New Guinea 32-30 Lae
  • 1996: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 52-6 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1995: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 22-6 Knowsley Road, St. Helens, England (1995 World Cup)
  • 1995: Papua New Guinea drew Tonga 28-28 The Boulevarde, Hull, England (1995 World Cup)
  • 1994: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 30-16 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1994: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 28-12 Danny Leahy Oval (Goroka)
  • 1994: Papua New Guinea def. France 29-22 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1993: Papua New Guinea def. Fiji 35-24 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1992: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 36-14 Townsville Sports Reserve
  • 1992: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 66-10 Carlaw Park (Auckland)
  • 1992: Great Britain def. Papua New Guinea 20-14 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1991: France def. Papua New Guinea 28-14 Stade Albert Domec (Carcassonne)
  • 1991: Great Britain def. Papua New Guinea 56-4 Central Park, Wigan, England
  • 1991: Wales def. Papua New Guinea 68-0 Vetch Field (Swansea)
  • 1991: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 40-6 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1991: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 58-2 Danny Leahy Oval (Goroka)
  • 1991: France def. Papua New Guinea 20-18 Danny Leahy Oval (Goroka)
  • 1990: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 18-10 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1990: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 36-4 Danny Leahy Oval (Goroka)
  • 1990: Great Britain def. Papua New Guinea 40-8 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1990: Papua New Guinea def. Great Britain 20-18 Danny Leahy Oval (Goroka)
  • 1988: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 70-8 Eric Weissel Oval (Wagga Wagga)
  • 1988: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 66-14 Carlaw Park (Auckland)
  • 1988: Great Britain def. Papua New Guinea 42-22 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1987: France def. Papua New Guinea 21-4 Stade Albert Domec (Carcassonne)
  • 1987: Great Britain def. Papua New Guinea 42-0 Wigan, England
  • 1987: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 36-22 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1986: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 62-12 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1986: Papua New Guinea def. New Zealand 24-22 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1986: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 36-26 Lloyd Robson(Port Moresby)
  • 1984: Great Britain def. Papua New Guinea 38-20 Pope John Paul II Oval (Mt Hagen)
  • 1983: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 60-20 Carlaw Park (Auckland)
  • 1982: Australia def. Papua New Guinea 38-2 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1982: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 56-5 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1981: Papua New Guinea drew France 13-13 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1979: France def. Papua New Guinea 15-2 Stade Albert Domec (Carcassonne)
  • 1979: France def. Papua New Guinea 16-9 Stade Municipal (Albi)
  • 1978: New Zealand def. Papua New Guinea 30-21 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1977: Papua New Guinea def France 37-6 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)
  • 1975: England def. Papua New Guinea 40-12 Lloyd Robson (Port Moresby)

Other Papua New Guinean teams[edit]

  • PNG Prime Minister XIII - Development to consist of local based players and only three international players, used to play both national and development sides.
  • PNG President XIII - PNGRFL 'select' usually playing another development side like Junior Kangaroos or New Zealand A. Rarely used to play national sides.
  • PNG Residents- Papua New Guinea development side made up of solely local players. Regularly playing matches with the Junior Kangaroos, New Zealand Māoris and even national sides.
  • Papua New Guinea KUNDUS - Papua New Guinea junior U18 schoolboys side.

- Recently played QLD U18 as a curtain raiser to Origin I. The QLD U/18 def. Kundus 20-16. The team is captained by Wayne Bond

Participated tournaments[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]