Kurakums’ speed, toughness saluted

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday November 6th, 2013


The AFL PNG Kurakum’s ended their three-game tour of Queensland with a resounding victory over Capricornia Cobras on Sunday.

The Kurakums led from the start to defeat the girls from the Mackay/Rockhampton region 5.15 (45) to 2.1 (13). If not for inaccuracy in front of the goals, the PNG team could have won by a much wider margin, with goals to Joshilla Aquila (2), Valerie Mai, Benita Mai, Aelo Eovo. 

Stand-outs Aquila, Alice Alois, Winnie Kaiat, Benita  and Valerie Mai, Sheckina Karogo and Eovo.

AFL PNG general manager and  Kurakums coach Murray Bird 9pictured) described the team’s performance as a “dramatic improvement” despite a “slow start”. 

He attributed the performance to tiredness and height but was compensated by the girls “speed and toughness around the field”. 

Bird said the girls were only able to assemble the day before their tour as 10 of the squad were from outside centres and many were completing end of year exams. 

This told in early games when they were soundly defeated by the South West Magpies, before being much more competitive in their second match against Cape York Crusaders. Cape York 7.11 (53) defeated PNG 4.2 (26).

The goals scorers were Isobel Grant, Malaysie Posein, Karogo and Alois. 

The best players were Benita Mai, Sylvia Emeck, Alois, Susan Sevara, Aquila and Eovo.

Bird emphasised that female participation in PNG was improving with huge interest from outside centres in Lae, Kimbe and recently in Buka and anticipates competitiveness in the near future with plans to set up an AFL academy for girls in PNG. 

The 25-member team returned to PNG yesterday with a lot of eye-opening experiences and AFLPNG hopes to field another “tough” team at next year’s tournament.