The National, Tuesday 10th July, 2012
By FRANKLIN KOLMA
THE Papua New Guinea Under-14 Binatangs reached new heights last week, finishing fifth in the AFL Queensland Kooga U14 State Championships held on the Sunshine Coast.
The championships were held over a week, with one game played each day, with matches based on previous results.
Game one kicked off with the PNG Binatangs taking on Suncoast Power.
Missing eight players who were caught up in customs at the international airport, PNG borrowed players from the Raiders and Power camp to even up the numbers.
In overcast, damp conditions the boys from PNG certainly gave Power a run for their money producing a great game of footy with a tremendous display of athletic ability.
Power ran out winners 8.2 (50) to 5.6 (36).
Suncoast Power coach Tristan Scott said: “Playing against PNG was a great learning experience for the boys. The PNG side is filled with athletes who are so strong and nimble, my boys have been baptised by fire.”
Day two of the championships saw the Binatangs take on Northern Raiders in wet and boggy conditions.
The boys from PNG were sensational in the wet conditions, coming out of the game victorious with a landslide score of 2.12 (24) to 0.0 (0).
No games were played on day three because of the wet conditions.
The Binatangs were too strong for the Country Kookaburras in the play-off for fifth spot on day four, using their bigger bodies and fast-paced style to full advantage to earn fifth place with a 7.8 (50) to 3.6 (24) victory.
At the end of the championships, Binatangs coach Ben Drew had nothing but praise for the U14 boys.
“I am very proud of the boys and the improvement they have shown over the week and they all look to have a great future in football,” he said.
PNG’s goal kickers were John Susuve, Bol Mark, Raymond Nukari, Theo Mark, Nathaniel Noke, Jackson Nawi and Gabby Wingomi and the best player for each respective game were John Susuve, Gilmore Morehari, Gabby Wingomi and Ludwig Teine.
The Binatangs will begin preparing for another local tournament next month.