The current team and the legacy they create… However I thought I’d share my memory of the 2000 World Cup with you all. 22years on from these memories, I believe this team is far better than ours and I’m super excited to watch the game. In fact, this might be the best team ever to don the colours when you look at the caliber of players – there are guns across the park. Of course we need to be humble as there is a job to do but the fact remains, PNG knows how to beat giants. Despite our differences, when PNG unites, it has always been a tremendous, unstoppable force. I wish our pride of Kumul’s the best tonight and to hunt them down without fear or favour. We will all be watching and backing you all. Yumi stap!! – by Eddie Aila, PNG Kumul 196.
'PNG KUMULS KNOWS HOW TO BEAT THE GIANTS'
By: Eddie Aila - PNG Kumul 196
22 years ago I was 21years old.
We got flogged 63-0 in our warm-up game against the Kangaroos in Townsville.
We trained the house down as a result of a crappy performance, courtesy of the current Melbourne Storm coach, Craig Bellamy.
We got saluted off from our camp at Goldie Barracks with deafening bombs and gun salute.
We were heading for war in France and England, brother's in arms, for our country.
We sang on the bus but we were still divided - Highlands, Islands, Mix-race, Outcasts... United yet separated.
We arrived to train in Carcassonne, France for a few days before heading to Paris to play hosts, France.
In France, something clicked when we landed in Paris and passed by a million bridges... we sang like "PNG", no longer divided!!
Our singing bonded us. Lonely tears fell quietly as we travelled on the bus, singing our hearts out, to our training ground before the game in 4-hours. Each of us felt it. This was different singing... It was special.
Adrian Lam told us, "if we play how we sang, we'll win this game tonight!" We were pumped, emotional, excited, confident...
We thought of our parents, families, friends, villages and country and why we bleed red, black and gold.
We ended up playing exactly "how we sang", although we let them lead at half-time.
Yes, we assassinated France in their capital city that night. Nobody expected it in Paris or the Rugby League World.
We took the legs out from under the giants of South Africa the following week.
It was now PNG v. Tonga to win the pool and advance to the Rugby League World Cup 2000 Quarter finals.
They unrelentingly belted our line for 25minutes... The Kumul's didn't move back once... Not once.
We sniffed blood when their captain made a run to score on our try line, as we waited on our line, but he woke up concussed. He never made it.
It was our turn now, the spirit of these Pacific giants was broken... The Kumul soared high...
So we ran with the ball. We passed. We supported. We ran. We passed... We scored!!! 1st try!!!
*HIGHLANDS WIPER DANCE & LOUD CHANT*
Press repeat... Over and over and over again... Plus add in a lot of defence when they had the ball...
Full Time... Kumul's beat favourites Tonga!
Yes, we slayed the Pacific giant and left for England to play in the quarters. Our hosts in England had to pull down the Tongan flag and put up the PNG flag.
Unfortunately, Wales stole our nation's heart in that game but we came back home proud, tired but absolutely thankful for the support we had and the honour to fight for our country.
Tonight is about the current team and the legacy they create... However I thought I'd share my memory of the 2000 World Cup with you all. 22years on from these memories, I believe this team is far better than ours and I'm super excited to watch the game. In fact, this might be the best team ever to don the colours when you look at the calibre of players - there are guns across the park.
Of course we need to be humble as there is a job to do but the fact remains, PNG knows how to beat giants. Despite our differences, when PNG unites, it has always been a tremendous, unstoppable force.
I wish our pride of Kumul's the best tonight and to hunt them down without fear or favour. We will all be watching and backing you all. Yumi stap!!
P.s. By the time I finished writing this, my 1hour data expired ??? enjoy the game guys!