By Ric Raymond Bellen, Date: 28/1/14
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the only country in the world where Rugby League is the national sport of the country!
On the 26th January at Challenger Field, Clark city, history was made in the Philippines, when James Franson of Site Skills Training based in the Clark Freeport Zone and Ric Raymond Bellen of the Maritime Academy of Asia & the Pacific (MAAP) Rugby League & Union club organised the inaugural Rugby League tournament between PNG Nationals training at the company and local Filipino Rugby League enthusiast.
120 PNG nationals are involved in a training program in Clark city which was organized by Site Skills Training, Site and Orion Project Services (PNG) and the Ipatas Foundation Inc.
The program provides residential training at Site Skills Training Clark, Philippines campus for 120 PNG nationals from the Enga Province in areas of Heavy Diesel Maintenance, Construction and Fabrication as well as Camp Services, Cookery and Logistics.
To correspond with the training program they are studying the PNG nationals were formed into five teams:
2.SITE: Skills Training
5.The Bird of Paradise (Female team)
As well as the 52 MAAP players, local Filipino Rugby League players came from Maritime corporations based in the Philippines:
1.Anscor Swires with 16,
2.Hartmann AG with 15,
3.TMS with 16 and
4.30, Male and Female students from Quezon City Polytechnic University (QCPU) and
5.17 players from the Manila Vipers Rugby Club who were trying out Rugby League for the first time.
The tournament was a great and fun day for all Rugby League participants. You could see and feel the intensity and the passion of each team who competed in the PNG Rugby League Invitational Games, with all teams trying their best to win every match.
All the supporters were shouting out loud to support their respective teams and it was fun and a great experience for both the players and their guests.
A total of almost 200 people attended, to witness a very historic Rugby League match held in the Philippines with PNG Nationals and our first Female Rugby League players.
This is just the beginning, we plan to support and assist in organizing more Rugby League tournaments like this in the not too distant future, to spread the word of “The Greatest Game of All”, Rugby League in the Philippines and develop local talent to play this sport.
Our development program is about to grow and I am very happy to be part of it. I would like to CONGRATULATE and THANK everyone! More games to come!
Rugby League tournaments against PNG nationals studying in the Philippines will hopefully culminate in a planned International match between these trainees and students, against a Philippines National Rugby League development team, comprising of local Filipinos supported by Fil-Foreigner players from overseas at the end of the year.
For the record results on the day were the Chefs taking out the Rugby League tournament, TMS Titans the men’s touch games and QCPU the women’s touch games.
RUGBY LEAGUE SCORES:
Vipers – 0 v Builders – 24
Chefs – 34 v MAAP A – 0
SITE – 22 v QCPU – 0
Orion – 16 v MAAP B – 0
2ND ROUND / SEMI FINALS
Builders – 0 v Orion – 16
Vipers – 8 v MAAP A – 0
QCPU – 12 v MAAP B – 10
BATTLE FOR 3RD PLACE
QCPU – 6 v Vipers – 14
Chefs – 12 v Builders- 4
3RD PLACE: CBRE Mavericks Vipers
TOUCH GAMES (MEN’S)
Anscor – 1 v Titans – 4
MAAP – 1 v Bravehearts – 0
Bravehearts – 0 v Titans – 0
MAAP – 0 v Titans – 1
TOUCH GAMES (WOMENS)
1st game: PNG Birds of Paradise – 0 v QCPU Lady Rugby Club – 1
2nd game: PNG Birds of Paradise – 0 v QCPU Lady Rugby Club – 1
CHAMPION : QCPU Rugby Club