By ISAAC LIRI
RETIRING to the bench for a break after playing his first minutes, Burleigh Bears prop forward Luke Page was applauded by thousands at the National Football Stadium.
The 26-year-old was playing against the home team, PNG Hunters, last Sunday but the crowd gave him all the support he could ask for.
After the game, despite their 20-12 loss to coach Michael Marum’s Hunters, the three- test Kumul prop smiled and said: “It surely feels like home here.
“It is always exciting to come up to PNG and play, the atmosphere is unreal and I am really honoured to play here at this venue for the first time. The support from the fans here is very warm.”
When the Intrust Super Cup 2017 season draws were done, Page underlined the games against the PNG Hunters.
One wouldn’t have thought otherwise that the one-game NRL player with the St George Illawarra Dragons would look forward to match up with his PNG team mates when there was a chance.
“It’s always good to see the boys. my Kumuls team mates, and I think Michael Marum has done a really good job with the boys this year and I was really looking forward to coming and seeing him,” Page said.
Also known as “White Kumul” by some, Page’s performance is improving according to his Bears coach Jimmy Lenihan and Marum.
That makes the possibilities of making the PNG Kumuls World Cup team at the end of this year likely. Page thinks he is on track.
“I don’t know if I did enough to be in Kumuls this year but I did my best and we’ll see,” he said.
“I thought my performance was pretty good, I sort of came back from injury in the past couple of weeks and I am trying to get my game fitness back and get my form back and today I think I played 50 to 60 minutes so hopefully I can finish the year off strongly.”
Marum said: “I think Luke’s performance is great, he played long minutes. Hopefully, he maintains his form keep doing well.”
By ISAAC LIRI