Sports Minister Hon. Don Polye has commended the Papua New Guinea Guinea Kumuls for a sterling performance despite going down to Tonga 24- 18 in their World Cup match yesterday morning.
He says the match has proven that the Kumuls are right up there with the best in the world and strengthens PNG’s bid for inclusion in the Australian NRL competition.
“I was up early this morning to watch the game on TV with thousands of patriotic Papua New Guineans in every corner of our country, from Daru to Kavieng, and from Vanimo to Alotau,” Minister Polye said.
“The Kumuls again brought us together as one nation, one people, one country.
“Tonga was so lucky to escape with the win in what has been the most-exciting clash of the World Cup so far.
“We went in as underdogs, against a highly-rated Tongan side full of NRL stars – and one of the World Cup favorites – and overcame a 12-point difference to level 18-18, only for Tonga to win with a frantic try three minutes from time.
“I, like all Papua New Guineans, am disappointed that Rodrick Tai was controversially denied a try in the corner in the second half, which could have swung the game our way.
“However, we can all be so proud of the Kumuls, and I commend coach Stanley Tepend and the entire team for showing the world what we are made of.
“The match certainly proves that the Kumuls are right up there with the best in the world and shows that we have what it takes to be in the NRL.”