Palais stars in stoush at Aroma

Normal, Sports

The National, Tuesday 12th February, 2013

A PAPUA New Guinea Palais women’s sevens representative had part of her finger bitten off in an alcohol-fuelled fight with another national player last weekend.
The fight erupted in Lalaura village after the Aroma Coast Sevens tournament where two women’s seven teams from Port Moresby had gone to play exhibition games.
Joan Lagona, 22, from Gaivakala village, along the Aroma Coast, had travelled to Lalaura with her team.
The fight between Lagona and fellow national squad member Jemimah Meraudje took place between 1am and 2am Sunday.
An eyewitness said the fight started after an argument between the two while they had been playing cards and drinking.
“Joan was told to go have a bath but she refused. Jemimah kept telling Joan and that must have pissed her off, causing her to use bad language,” the eyewitness said.
“Meraudje and the other girls felt offended and then asked her why she used bad language.
“While they were asking her, she threw her playing cards in Meraudje’s face.
“That was when they both started throwing punches.
“While punching, Lagona’s little finger went in Meraudje’s mouth and came out in half,” the eyewitness said.
Other women’s players joined in the fracas and Lagona did not notice her little finger had been halved until she saw blood stains on her shorts.
Yesterday she was still sporting still the bandage she had wrapped around her finger after the fight.
“I knew I was wrong for swearing at her but she didn’t have to go to the extent of biting off my finger,” Lagona told The National yesterday.
The incident has not been properly resolved yet.
Both players returned on Sunday from the Aroma Coast 7s. It was believed they were both under the influence of alcohol.
Meanwhile, this unsavoury incident has not dampened the interest in sevens from the local Aroma community.
“Watching you women play has now given us a bit of confidence in ourselves that no matter how old you are, or how bad you might look, you can still play rugby. It’s a good thing,” Lalaura village women’s representative, Genia Guise said.
Tournament major sponsor, Sir Puka Temu and Public Service Minister once again praised the organising committee and PNGRFU for taking the initiative to introduce the code to the area.
“I am amazed at the fact that women can play this male dominated sport. I am truly impressed,” Sir Puka said.
“We are happy that we got to let the village girls and women know that women’s rugby is a fast growing sport that is played worldwide,” national women’s 7s star Yarowena Morofa said.
“It’s great to hear some positive feedback. The interest is there.”