The National, Wednesday 22nd August, 2012
By HENRY MORABANG
SPORTS Minister Justin Tkatchenko is offering to broker peace between warring rugby league factions.
Promising state financial support for the Kumuls’ pre-season clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in February, Tkatchenko said the game was bigger than all the personalities dragging it down. He said he had been appointed to do a job and that included cleaning up the country’s top sport.
He said the fight for control of the game had been destroying the sport in recent years.
“The PNGRFL have a lot of work to do and most important is to get its house in order,” Tkatchenko said.
“We really need to lift the game.”
“This means we have to have the right administrators, the right coaches and the right players with the right attitude to be competitive against South Sydney.
“The PNGRFL and all the stakeholders involved with the game must fix the on-going problems.
“We must take the game away from self-interested people and give it to the right people.
“We must develop a common understanding and get our act together for the benefit of our people,” he said.
“We have many, many problems in rugby league.
“The Kumuls-South Sydney game pencilled for 2013 is a fantastic idea put forward by Kumuls coach Adrian Lam and South Sydney chief executive officer, Shane Richardson.
“It is a great promotion for PNG rugby league outside of the country apart from World Cup.”
On the Prime Minister’s XIII challenge, Tkatchenko said there would be an announcement tomorrow of the state’s financial help for the annual clash.
“Everything is in motion,” he said.
He would not say how much the government would give, only assuring the state would back the annual Prime Minister’s 13 game against a Prime Minister’s XIII from rugby league’s heartland, Australia.