PAPUA New Guinea’s pride and passion for rugby league has been on show ahead of the upcoming 2017 World Cup, with large crowds turning out to see the Paul Barrière Trophy as it makes its way around the country.
In a sign of what the game means to the rugby league-mad nation, more than 30,000 people attended the Goroka Show on the weekend to view the iconic World Cup silverware as the Oil Search Trophy Tour arrived in the PNG Highlands region.
The Oil Search Trophy Tour, which continues until 13 October, began in Port Moresby last Monday and has so far visited Lae, Wau, Bulolo, Goroka, and places in between, with helicopters being used to access remote villages.
Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) chief executive Andrew Hill has been in Papua New Guinea for the trophy tour and said the scenes he had witnessed indicated how excited and proud the country was about hosting Kumuls’ matches in the tournament.
“Rugby league truly unites Papua New Guinea and the Oil Search Trophy Tour reminds those involved in the game of the positive impact sport can have on the community,” Hill said.
“The passion and pride that the country has for rugby league is second to none and it has been fantastic to see people in all parts of Papua New Guinea able to share in the excitement of hosting the World Cup.
“Through the support of Oil Search and the vision of the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill we have been able to take the Rugby League World Cup trophy all around the country and I particularly want to thank Oil Search Managing Director Peter Botten, who has joined me on the tour.”
With the Kumuls to play the Prime Minister’s XIII in a double-header with the Jillaroos and PNG Orchids women’s Rugby League teams at Oil Search National Football Stadium next Saturday and the Hunters playing in the Queensland Cup grand final on Sunday, the excitement will continue to build.
PNG will host three matches in the World Cup, against Wales on 28 October, Ireland on 5 November and USA on 12 November.
Tickets for all three matches went on sale recently and can be purchased via the tournament’s official website RLWC2017.com or from the eight Tiket Mastas outlets in Port Moresby:
Brian Bell – Plaza, Turumu Street, Boroko, NCD (Mon-Sun, 8.00am – 5.00pm)
Brian Bell – Home Centre Gordon, Kennedy Road, Gordon (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)
Individual ticket prices for each game:
- K30 for seats in the North and South Grandstands
- K50 for seats in the Eastern Grandstand
- K80 for seats in the Wings of the Western Grandstand; and
- K120 for seats in the covered Western Grandstand
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.