Rugby League Still Strong in PNG

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Rugby League Still Strong in PNG Empty Rugby League Still Strong in PNG

Post by Redszone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:43 pm

Chimbu lays it on
20,000 pack Kundiawa for Ipatas Cup challenge
MORE than 20,000 supporters packed the provincial capital of Kundiawa to watch the Chimbu leg of the Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup challenge at the weekend.
A total of 24 teams from all districts in Chimbu Province came in their truck loads to compete in the play off.
It was a surprise to see youths from some tribal fighting clans play in the competition especially youths from Gena and Siku that have been in the battle field for most of their lives and did not have the opportunity to take part in other activities.
But the amazing thing is that the Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup has changed the attitude of the youths in Chimbu Province to unite and forget about associating with illegal activities.
This was made a reality after many youths from all districts in the province took part in the third play-off over the weekend.
For the first time the Ipatas Cup has brought them out of the tribal war torn areas to play in the competition to expose themselves.
The dream and vision for the Ipatas Cup competition to promote rugby league in rural areas to reduce illegal activities was fulfilled in Chimbu Province, which has set a great history for the province.
The 24 teams flocked into the provincial capital early last week and were in camp waiting for the count down for them to clash at Dickson oval.
The teams were divided into six pools before they played in front of an estimated 20,000 crowd at the Dickson oval.
The challenge that began last Friday was completed on Sunday.
The six winners for each pool will play in the semi-finals tomorrow. Only three winners will qualify in the first elimination for the Eastern end.
Meanwhile, the three winners for Eastern Highlands Province challenge is yet to be announced.
The three days competition was played in the true spirit of rugby league despite speculations that teams from the rural districts that came with truck loads of supporters would cause violence.
However, teams that won celebrated the win in joyous mood while the losing teams accepted their losses gracefully and showed the true colour as sportsmenship.
Chimbu provincial co-ordinator for Ipatas Cup Thomas Daugle was impressed with the turn out.
Daugle said this was a first time in Chimbu for teams from all districts to come in with supporters in truck loads to support their teams.
He said there was a lot of criticism in the first place about the competition but it proved that Chimbu youths really like the Ipatas Cup competition.
Daugle commended the players for playing rugby league in the true spirit of the game that attracted mothers and young girls to come and watch the game without fear.
He said this was a true rugby league game played in Kundiawa, adding that the code was fading away and it was about time to promote and revive it so that it would involve youths to take part.
Daugle also thanked the competition sponsors including Coca-Cola Amatil, Enga Governor and patron Peter Ipatas, Barrick (Porgera), Digicel, PNG Fm, Lae Biscuit, Tit Karato, Kelly Naru Lawyers, Panda Builders and Alfred Manase Lawyers for their support. Competitions in Mt Hagen and Wabag still remain to be played as the teams prepare to take part in these prescribed areas. Ipatas Cup CEO Timothy Lepa has been a busy man co-ordinating the whole operations.

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