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Polocrosse - Papua New Guinea style Print E-mail
Written by Barbara   
Tuesday, 04 July 2006
Article Index
Polocrosse - Papua New Guinea style
Page 2 - Organisation
Page 3 - Trophies
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7 - Playing the game
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
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Page 16
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Page 25
PNG Players and Trophy Winners

The Queensland players had defeated PNG 29-3 at Lae. Barb.Jephcott was the umpire (everyone else who knew the rules was playing!). At Yonki the next week, after the team had visited Goroka and Mt.Hagen, PNG played better. Some players rode in the races the next day. The track was wet and there were several falls. Tom Bancroft rode in the races and injured his arm in a fall.

The first team to play in Australia was in 1960 when Colin Sefton, Alec Macgregor, Ray Catford, Tom Stewartson, and Joe and Mike Collins had visited NSW, playing in Sydney and Maitland. In 1964, a team from Victoria led by Tony Neylon had toured TPNG. The new players did not waste time accepting invitations to play in Australia. In late May 1975, Bruce Duffield, Waubi Timpunda, Bob Simmons, Dan Leahy, Phil Best and Bill Johnstone went to Queensland. They played at Club carnivals at Tara and Warwick (cold as usual) and then the Zone Titles at the Gold Coast. Peter Eaton helped them with horses but the overall standard of horses provided for visiting players was not good. While at Club level they had some close matches, the PNG team was rather out of its depth against the Zone teams. Waubi was the first PNG national to play in Australia. Faye Duffield and Barb looked after Simmons, Duffield and Jephcott kids at Dumpu. Denise Simmons accompanied the team.

Salamau
Salamau

The 1975 National Titles were held at Dumpu in August. Players and their families filled the Dumpu houses and erected tents. By lunchtime on Sunday there were about one hundred people for lunch, some were spectators from Yonki who left their Eskys under the trees and joined the players' lunch. Ramu (Phil. Bruce J. Bob Simmons, Bill Fullerton, Joe Alexander and Waubi) defeated Goroka 17-9.

In 1976, the Carnival dates were organised to fit in with the races, shows, pony clubs and school holidays for the boarders in Australia. It was also a big year internationally. PNG was invited to send a team to the National Titles that coincided with the formation of the International Polocrosse Association; and the first Australian team to play in a foreign country visited PNG. We started the season in March at Lae followed by carnivals at Goroka in April and Dumpu in May. The team to go to Australia was selected at these carnivals. From those available team selected was - Dan Leahy, Noel Challis, Bruce Jephcott, Kosi, Mata and Kimao. Kosi broke his arm at a Warwick carnival and was replaced by Phil Best, by then living in Qld. The battle for horses was on at the Gold Coast, Gatton College were helpful to PNG. A New Zealand team was also playing. Neither team could match the best in the Australian states. New Zealand defeated PNG 31-12 in the beaten teams final.

The first International meeting was held after the titles. Mr.Max Walters was elected President, and remained so until 2000. The approximate player numbers in each country were - Australia - 3555; N.Z.- 290; Rhodesia - 270; South Africa - 270; PNG - 60. Much of the meeting was devoted to discussion on a format for International Rules. The guest of honour at the National Titles was the Governor General, Sir John Kerr, there were no demonstrations at the polocrosse. Players had horses ready to deter any troublemakers.

Back in PNG Mendi Valley Charity Stampede included a polocrosse match in their rodeo and cross-country programme. The Leahys, Duffields, Simmons, Jephcotts, Moretons, Bill Clift and Joe Alexander took horses for the events. Our hosts entertained us well, including inviting us all to a most enjoyable ball. It is a long way with truck horses, three days up and two back from Lae and Dumpu, but we made the most of the events. Bruce Duffield was successful in the cross-country,on a Dumpu horse - Ferric. The event was supposed to be won by Mendi residents. Grant won a rodeo buckle for some rodeo event and we defeated the local polocrosse team.

The National Titles were held early in July, in Lae. This time Goroka (Dan Leahy, Bob Ward, Noel Challis, Bob Hannon, Jimmy Rende and Laurie Cremin) defeated Ramu and Lae. It was the only time Barb. Jephcott played in A Grade at the Nationals. (I could ride off but was always rather useless with the ball!). Bob Simmons did his best to rally the Ramu team. Ramu defeated Lae the first round, but were beaten by them on the Sunday. Goroka defeated Lae in the final with Barb umpiring. There were small carnivals at Goroka and Dumpu before the Titles and some social games later in the year. With the trip to Qld, Mendi, races and gymkhanas the Horse calendar for the year was full. Bob Simmons went to Port Moresby one weekend to play polocrosse.


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