By Fidelis Sukina – EMTV Sports, Port Moresby
PNG has a lot of rugby league talent to go around. The standard has been improving steadily but the major concern is if players are being marketed well for the overseas market.
2019 looks promising for young rugby league talent in Papua New Guinea.
With the intense passion shown by Papua New Guineans towards its most popular sport often referred to as the national sport – rugby league – that’s right, the world notices PNG loves the sport.
There are 49 affiliated leagues registered to the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League, and countless numbers of offseason tournaments across the country.
But if it is the national sport than we should be exporting a lot more players overseas, the question is are we marketing the talent?
The SP PNG Hunter’s players are arguably the most marketed players because of the level of competition they play in.
In the Intrust Super Cup having a website, player profiles and statistics on the competitions website helps in player marketability.
And of course their performance, in the Intrust Super Cup and the Kumuls is watched throughout Australia and Europe.
And since then, players have been contacted by clubs overseas and have received contracts to play for teams outside PNG.
Frankly, there is only one Hunters team and not all the talent can make it into the team. There is more than enough raw talent around and most aim for the National Inter-City Cup competition.
Back to the question of marketing players, PNGRFL has a website but it is mostly based on news and the organization, not much on the teams or players across the leagues.
But good news for players in the semiprofessional competition, the Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition plans to establish a website to market players.
”It’s another way forward for us, which we have controlled social sites like Twitter and Facebook and YouTube will be linked there,” PNGNRLC Competition Manager Stanley Hondina said.
The Website is set to launch along with the 2019 season, what is being shown here is what was in use by the PNGNRLC for the past two seasons.
It provided simple statistics, but this year, when the website is launched, it will be different.
“So players’ data can be available on our website, when the linkage is up and running. Even short clips and games, we will post it through there so we can be seen by the world now as opposed to being in Papua New Guinea only.”
The website sounds promising maybe not like this one by NRL.com
but PNGRFL has stated that they will support in building the semiprofessional competition to match the Hunters standard.