Despite being the national sport in the country, and a sport that gained popularity nationwide in Papua New Guinea’s early days, Rugby League was not inclusive until the 2000s.
As the sport grew, so did women’s interest.
For Port Moresby Rugby League, the women’s arm of the competition started in 2010.
Among the first few women to make up three teams of the POM League Women’s division were Vero Waula, Brenda Goro and Carol Heume.
For Brenda Goro, Carol Heume and Vero Waula, playing in the Pom Rugby League it’s early days was not as competitive and with only three teams in their competition, the matches would sometimes last for only 5 minutes.
Seven years on and now having secured their spots in the PNG Orchids squad, the trio tells EMTV Sports their story.
Vero and Carol were playing in the Royals team while Brenda played in the Sisters Team.
It wasn’t until 2012 when more young women formed teams and joined, that it became competitive.
As the competition continued, most of their initial team mates dropped out due to other commitments.
But for the trio, trainings, matches and the competition continued.
“ It was challenging but we had support from my dad Steven Waula who was also our coach, so that kept us going and we are grateful,” a smile Vero Waula said.
Vero, Carol and Brenda then had their opportunity to showcase their talent to a bigger audience when the National Zone Championship came about.
And from 2013 to 2016, all three were selected consecutively to represent Port Moresby at the annual national zone championship.
Being the oldest of the trio, Brenda spoke of their ambitions and how they stayed on while others left the competition.
“It is a dream come true for us, now that we are part of the Orchids outfit,” said Brenda.
Carol on the other hand was 16 and a student at Marianville Girls Secondary School and probably one of the youngest back in 2011 when she joined the competition.
“We have come a long way, and we will give our best shot in this World Cup,” added Carol.
They will be leaving with their team mates tomorrow for their RLWC debut on Saturday in Sydney and they can’t wait for match day to come.