PNGRFU hosts Motuan women’s rugby fest


PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Union (PNGRU), through a Papua New Guinea-Australia sports partnership programme, hosted the inaugural Motuan Women in Rugby Festival on Friday with four villages taking part.
Union programme coordinator Sailosi Druma told The National that the festival ended an eight-week training programme for women from Mirigini, Elevala, Pari and Taurama.
“For the past eight weeks, they’ve been learning skills from catching and passing, ruck tackles, line-outs and scrums,” he said.
“They did some coaching and first-aid courses.
“The festival is where we want to see the skills that they’ve learnt from the eight weeks.
“It’s all about having fun and seeing how participants can transition from their skills training.
“We initially planned to play tag rugby, but they had been doing tag rugby as part of the training.
“So they wanted to move on to full-on tackling and that’s progress for us because it’s a step-up in the game of which they’re willing to be a part.”
Druma said the programme had the potential to unearth players for the national squad with several participants showing exceptional skills during the festival.
“They’re young,” he said.
“We’ve seen some good number of girls in the programme who are good enough to make it into our big development squads.
“The festival is also a great avenue where we can build talent identification.
“This festival is part of the PNG-Australia sports partnership programme. Inclusivity is a big part of this programme and we want all women to be part of rugby union.
“That is why we have Motuan women in the programme.”
The festival ended with Pari winning and Elevala finishing second.
Taurama and Mirigini finished third and fourth respectively.