The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League has joined the people of Simbu and all rugby league followers in mourning the death of former PNG Kumul captain Bal Numapo.
Numapo aged 57 from Ogel village in the Sinesine Yongumul District in Simbu Province died following a severe stroke at 10.00am last Saturday August 1, 2020 in Kundiawa.
PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka said Bal Numapo debuted as PNG Kumul No. 85 against Great Britain on August 5, 1984 against Great Britain in Mt Hagen as a centre. He went on to represent PNG on 14 more occasions scoring four tries, kicking 18 goals and a field goal.
“Players like (late) Bob Tollick, Gesau Gebob, Robert Jakis, Robert Kubak and Pora Wek also debuted alongside Numapo in this game,” Tsaka said. “Higher representative honours came when he and Dairi Kovae were selected in the Rest of the World team that played Australia in 1988,” Tsaka said. “Rest of the World team comprised of the best players from Test league nations England, New Zealand and France.”
The following year Numapo secured a one year contract with NRL club Canterbury Bulldogs and played three games. “He was an icon in the rugby league world during the 1980s and 90s, a perfect role model balancing education and rugby league and a dedicated public servant following his retirement from the greatest game of all,” Tsaka said.
PNGRFL Highlands Confederate Director Joe Tokam said Numapo played for the Brothers club in the Kundiawa rugby league competition. “I first met Bal Numapo when I was coach of the Highlands Zone team in 1992,” Tokam said. “He was solid in every aspect, had the ability to break defence and off load, was a very good listener, read games very well and a smart and disciplined player.”
“Thank you for the treasured memories and legacy you have left behind,” Tsaka said. “On behalf of the Board, CEO Reatau Rau and staff, National Coach Michael Marum, all players and officials, I extend our sincere condolences to his family and people of Simbu on the loss of a great rugby league legend Bal Numapo.”
Late Bal Numapo is survived by wives Roselyn and Lynda and children Walter, Junior Numapo, Sil Takai, Ba and Kerenga Kua.
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