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Kumul legend David Noifa dies at 56

David Noifa - made the rest of the world XIII in rugby league

| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea's rugby league fraternity is mourning the death of former PNG Kumul legend, David Noifa.

Noifa died last weekend at his Warala village in Jiwaka province, after a short illness. He was 56 years old.

The agile centre made his debut in Auckland against the New Zealand Kiwis in 1983.

He was also named in a Rest of World side alongside Australian greats Mal Meninga and Wally Lewis to play France the same year.

Noifa was former member of the PNG Rugby Football League selection panel and was heavily involved in the national schools rugby league and other grassroots programmes.

PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka said in a statement that Noifa's contribution to the development of rugby league would be missed.

"His contribution to the development of rugby league in the Highlands region and PNG has been immense," Tsaka said.

"On behalf of the PNGRFL and the greater rugby league family, we extend our sincere sympathies and condolences to his mother, beloved wife and five children and their families on the passing of her son, husband and their dad."

Highlands confederate director Joe Tokam also sent his condolences: "David has been supporting me since 2008 in the development of the game...I will greatly miss him."


Mark Harris
Mark Harris - took his rugby league to a high level in pre-independence PNG

SYDNEY - Meanwhile, Channel 9 reports that Mark Harris - who played his early football in Papua New Guinea in the late 1960s- is battling throat cancer in a Sydney hospital.

Legend has it that , he wandered into Easts Leagues Club in 1970 asking for a game and within 12 months was in the Australian team.

The 72-year-old “is not in a great way but he is staying positive and is a fighter," Easts team mate Kevin Junee told Wide World of Sports. "I went to see him yesterday and he is determined to get through it."

In 1974, Harris scored the try that won the Roosters the grand final against Canterbury, ending a 29-year premiership drought.

Big, strong and fast, he was the prototype of the modern day centre.


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Garry Roche

If I remember correctly David Noifa was the son of a policeman Sergeant Noifa who in the early seventies was based in Tabibuga in the Jimi Valley. Sergeant Noifa was a wise and well respected cop.

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