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Papua New Guinea’s first ever rugby league international was against England on Sunday 6 July 1975. The first to ever wear the Red, Black and Gold jumper were:
Fullback – Billy Wartovo
Wingers – Albert Age and Karava Haiveta
Centers – Lohia Daroa and Robin Guere
Five-Eigth – Paul Iko
Half – Paul Chue
Lock – Vai Karava
Second-rowers – Darius Dixon and Harrison Patiliu
Hooker – Elijah Emori
Front row – Tony Bussell and Tara Gau
Reserves: John Wagambie, Henry Kavanamur, Eka Fae and Bill Phillips
The captain of the team was Paul Chue and Vice Captain Elijah Emori
Coach : Val Murphy
Pictured above are : Darius Dixon (left), Billy Wartovo (standing), Henry Kavanamur (centre) and Robin Guere doing their own washing in the training camp while preparing for the match against England. (Post Courier File Photo)
The Kumuls though fought hard against the English went down 40-12.
England dominated much of the match and kept PNG scoreless until mid-way through the second half when England gave away a penalty infront of their own posts. Billy Wartovo got PNG on the board by converting the penalty.
The penalty brought PNG to life when Lohia Daroa minutes later broke through the English defence and then passing to Bill Phillips. Although Phillips was tackled meters from the line his momentum took him over to score PNG’s first ever international try.
Wartovo converted to take the score to 40-7 in favor of the English.
PNG were in again through skipper Paul Chue. A reversed play by Chue near England’s line and a subsequent pass to second rower Harrison Patiliu saw the PNG second rower scoring PNG’s second try. Wartovo again converted.
Best on the day were Paul Chue and Bill Phillips.