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There were fears that Rugby League was losing its strangle hold on the PNG region, but thanks to two outstanding performances by representative sides, the game is back in growth mode at the moment in the country.
Rugby Union, Soccer and AFL in the past five years have been pouring thousands of dollars into the region in an effort to grab hold of a section of the PNG market, taking advantage of the lack of internationals played by the Rugby League side, offering top PNG athletes the chance to play representative games in their codes, however just like many cultures around the world, the people of PNG like to be part of a winning culture, something that Rugby League has only been able to offer recently.
Victories to the PNG Presidents XIII in Port Moresby, tied in with the PNG 7?s side making the quarter finals of an international tournament (only the second team in PNG sports history to make the quarter finals in any sport, the first being the 2000 RLWC squad) has seen interest in the 2004 Rugby League season in the region sky-rocket.
The success of the PNG Rugby League squads has put an aura of optimism in the region, and with the announcement of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup to be held in Australia, there are thousands of athletes in the region who all want the chance to be part of that Kumul side which tours downunder. PNG is a vital part to the Rugby League community, and it is important that now that the code has another chance to capitalise on interest of the sport in the nation that it does so.
PNG is on track to have more clubs and players, playing League than in the last 10 years in 2004, just showing how much the code is back.