Rugby League World Cup Chief Executive Andrew Hill congratulated the PNG Hunters for a thrilling Queensland Cup Grand Final win today that has kick-started the biggest six weeks of sporting action in the country’s history.
The Hunters, who are expected to provide the nucleus of Papua New Guinea’s World Cup squad, overcame an early 10-0 deficit and the loss of halfback Watson Boas to snatch a late 12-10 victory over Sunshine Coast Falcons.
The win, which was achieved in front of a record Queensland Cup Grand Final crowd of 11,260 at Suncorp Stadium today(24 September), secures the Hunters a place in the curtain-raiser at next Sunday’s NRL Grand Final against the NSW Cup winners.
The PNG Kumuls will then host three World Cup matches at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby against Wales on 28 October, Ireland on 5 November and USA on 12 November.
“On behalf of Rugby League World Cup 2017, I would like to congratulate the PNG Hunters on winning an historic Queensland Cup Grand Final and look forward to seeing them play on Grand Final day in Sydney next weekend,” Mr Hill said.
“With the first women’s Test match in PNG between the Orchids and Jillaroos and the Prime Minister’s XIII playing in Port Moresby on Saturday it has been an incredible weekend of Rugby League for Papua New Guinea.
“However, this is just the start of what will be a massive six weeks for the game in PNG, with the Kumuls to host three pool games during the World Cup, and I have no doubt fans will get behind the team during the World Cup with the pride and passion they always display.”
The PNG Orchids played their first Test ahead of the women’s World Cup against the Jillaroos on Saturday in a double-header with the annual fixture between the PM’s XIII and the Kumuls at Oil Search National Football Stadium.
The Jillaroos defeated the Orchids 42-4 but the PNG women won many admirers with a courageous performance, while the PM’s XIII beat a team of domestic players in the absence of the Hunters or any NRL stars before a crowd of 13,468 fanatical supporters.
An Oil Search sponsored RLWC2017 Trophy tour of PNG has attracted huge crowds around the country in the past two weeks and will continue until 13 October.
The success of the Hunters, who were also Queensland Cup minor premiers, will provide a significant boost to PNG’s World Cup campaign and the Kumuls are aiming to finish first in their pool and qualify for a quarter final berth.
The RLWC2017 will be contested from 27 October to 2 December and features 14 nations playing 28 matches in 13 cities across Australia, New Zealand and in PNG.
As hosting partner of the RLWC2017, PNG will stage the PNG Kumuls’ three pool games:
Papua New Guinea v Wales in Port Moresby on Saturday 28 October 2017 at 3.00PM
Papua New Guinea v Ireland in Port Moresby on Sunday 5 November 2017 at 4.00PM
Papua New Guinea v USA in Port Moresby on Sunday 12 November at 3.00PM
Times local to Port Moresby
Tickets for the pool matches in PNG are on sale and Mr Hill urged fans to purchase them quickly to avoid disappointment as capacity at Oil Search National Football Stadium has been capped at 15,000 for each match.
Individual ticket prices for each game:
• 30 PGK for seats in the North and South Grandstands
• 50 PGK for seats in the Eastern Grandstand
• 80 PGK for seats in the Wings of the Western Grandstand; and
• 120 PGK for seats in the covered Western Grandstand
Tickets can be purchased via the tournament’s official website: RLWC2017.com or from one of eight Tiket Mastas Outlets in Port Moresby;
Brian Bell – Plaza, Turumu Street, Boroko, NCD (Mon-Sun, 8.00am – 5.00pm)
Brian Bell – Home Centre Gordons, Kennedy Road, Gordons (Mon-Sun, 8.00am – 5.00pm)
Brian Bell – Vision City, Waigani Drive, NCD (Mon-Sun, 9.00am – 9.00pm)
Stop n Shop – Rainbow, Goro – Kaega Road, Rainbow (Mon-Sun, 7.30am – 7.30pm)
Stop n Shop – Waigani, North Waigani, Pipit Street (Mon-Sun, 8.00am – 8.00pm)
Big Rooster – Erima, Along Hubert Murray Highway, Erima (Mon-Sun, 8.00am – 8.00pm)
Big Rooster – Koki (Mon-Sun, 10.00am – 8.00pm)
Cool Stuff – Waterfront Harbour City (Mon-Sun, 9.00am – 8.00pm)