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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
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PNG Players and Trophy Winners

The National Titles were held in Goroka, with Joy Poole as the visiting umpire and coach. The team from the Northern Territory comprising; Mick Scholes, Barry Coulter (formerly from Goroka), Peter Murrrell, John Grehan, Russell Henderson and Wayne Knapp, were defeated by Lae 1 by one goal and by Ramu 2(Elias, William, Mark Godlonton, John Leahy, Aitape and Chris Murphy). In the B Grade final they played Goroka 2 (Cam Bennett, Bev Wilde, Doug Grainger, Sandy Kosi, Bob Ward and George Brugh) to win comfortably. Lae1 (Greg Jacobsen, John Harsent, Bill Cilft, Bruce Duffield, Jock Neilsen and Trevor Kennedy) defeated Ramu 2 in the A grade beaten teams. Ramu 3 (Ben, Kunda, Hosifa, Dorothy, Dagenba and Barb.) having been defeated by NT, won the B Grade loser's final against Lae 2 (Charlie Edmonds, Scott Johnson. Heather Pegg, Amanda Reid, Ned Pegg and T.Hearn). In the C Grade Ramu (Grant J., Gia, Sandi, James Simmons, Simao, and Kunda - mostly Juniors) defeated Goroka (Jim Middleton, Carol Lynch, James Couchman, Malcolm Mudge, Alison Lynch and Grant Scott) - also mostly Juniors and with Jim having not played for many years. There were many new players. More National players and Juniors were heading for a competition of their own. Ramu A defeated Goroka by one goal.

The 1979 season started early with a large group, organised by Bob Simmons, going to New Zealand. They were Bob, Kipas, Waubie, Richard Blackley, George Brugh, Dorothy, Neil Latimer, Bill Clift, John Leahy and Don Power, with Chris Murphy as manager, assisted by Denise Simmons. Mesdames Power and Latimer also went. Bob wrote a lengthy report on the tour, in which they had some modest success.

It was a New Zealand year with their team (Robert and Gordon Gower, Jack Christian, R. Collins, John Lozell and Stuart), visiting PNG in August. They joined with PNG A Grade players in Goroka to play a chukka championship, and then came to a Ramu carnival at Dumpu. By then Les Fraser, and his wife Robyn had arrived at Dumpu (minus luggage, temporarily). Les umpired the games between NZ and Ramu, and also the one versus Goroka. The NZ team won both matches but neither was a walkover. Les noted that that those not playing in the international match lent their best horses to the visitors. PNG players were always generous to mounting visiting teams as well as possible.

In the meantime, the polocrosse season rolled on, Ramu held its own. In one Mixed game, Sandi, Barb and Dot played in one section with Elias, Kunda and Keri in the other were successful. Les Fraser coached at Dumpu, and then at Goroka, sightseeing at Madang and Mt.Hagen and finally the Frasers went to Lae for the National Titles. Fields had been established near the Nadzab racecourse. Participants either camped on the creek or were billeted in Lae or nearer Nadzab. There were nine teams, plus Juniors. Ramu won the A Grade, again marginally, 14-13 in extra time, from Goroka. The awards were: Best Player - Grant Stone (Goroka), Best Horses No1 - Bruce Duffield's Tarong, No2 - Kosi's Spark, No.3 - Arthur Jones Anthracite. Best Lady Player was Dorothy. That carnival marked Bob Simmons last carnival with Ramu, he was going back to Australia. He rode Gusap's brave horse Moonstone who always gave his all, whatever a rider asked him to do, be it polocrosse, cattle work, racing or even jumping. Bob had trained and encouraged the stockmen to play polocrosse. As time went on the National players outnumbered the ex-patriate players. At Dumpu and Gusap providing and feeding horses, up to twenty sometimes at Dumpu, including umpire horses and others for visiting players; and providing the gear for player and horse became a very big part of our lives.

By the National Titles at Dumpu in 1980 there were fourteen teams playing, we had fifteen players from Dumpu alone. Dumpu was the first venue to provide two fields to ensure every team had at least three games. At those titles there were about 150 people camping and staying in the homestead and staff houses. We catered for the whole weekend by dint of killing a beast for steak breakfasts, corned beef rolls for lunches (chicken and salad on Sunday) and casseroles and meat on the spit for dinners. The weekend extended from Friday night to Monday morning for the long distance visitors. Goroka supplied us with plenty of vegetables and coffee, SP Brewery with beer and we bought in other supplies, charging K25 for the whole weekend and making enough to keep the Club running. Other Clubs had more sponsors. In Goroka the Golf and Horse Sports Club house was the venue for evening functions. The players and their families were generously billeted in town. Likewise in Lae, where the Waratahs Club was used for the main functions. When play moved to Nadzab, and the camp was established, all entertainment and meals were provided on site. A freezer truck was used to keep vital supplies cold. Mark Fallon drove one out to the first carnival at Nadzab and managed to lock himself inside. He was recued. At Dumpu the biggest problem was finding the key of the chiller room - Who had it last?


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