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PNG's golden hat trick in touch rugby, Samoa take silver

The 2015 Pacific Games Mixed Team silver medalists completed a hat-trick in 2019 to win the gold medal in the Mixed Team Division for complete dominance of this week’s touch rugby competition.

They have successfully defended their Men’s and Women’s titles from the 2015 Games with the win in Mixed Teams completing their dominance.

They did so in the deciding clash with Samoa, who were defending Mixed Team champions from the 2015 Pacific Games, though they trailed at the end of the first half.

Draw made for football competition at Samoa 2019 Pacific Games

Conducted by Football Federation Samoa, the draw used seedings based on FIFA rankings.

In the men's event, six teams had been set to be placed in Group A and five in Group B but due to an mistake on the day, five teams were drawn for Group A and six for Group B.

To rectify this, a straight swap was carried out in the match schedules between the groups.

Group A features hosts Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand under-23s, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

New Caledonia are the top seeds in Group B, alongside American Samoa, Tuvalu, Tahiti, Fiji and Solomon Islands.

Smokefree Pacific Games re-enforces healthy message

Athletes, officials, spectators, volunteers, and the workforce involved in the Games are reminded that the event is smokefree.

May 31, which is just 37 days until the Opening Ceremony kicks off a fortnight of sporting competition, is the annual No Tobacco Day organised by the World Health Organization.

The annual campaign raises awareness of the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and aims to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.

Participation in AFL grows in PNG and Fiji

AFL Development Coordinator South Pacific Simon Highfield confirmed this after a successful turnout in the Under 16 program that accommodated 25 players from Nauru, PNG, Vanuatu and Fiji, earlier this month.

“Although AFL may not be THE major sport of PNG or Fiji, the participation rate is growing rapidly, and we are finding more and more boys, girls, men and women playing our game in some capacity.”

Oceania tennis lament relegation

The regional team failed to win a match in their first appearance in 18 years after being swept 3-0 by China, Indonesia and South Korea to finish bottom of Pool B, consigning them to automatic relegation back to Group Two in 2020.

Team Captain Gilles De Gouy said the players failed to take their chances against more experienced opposition.

Nestlé uses PNG and Vanuatu beans for new volcanic KitKat

Beans from the two Melanesian countries are a central part of the blend in Nestlé Japan's new Sublime Volcanic KitKat launched this week in Tokyo.

It comes in a series of three flavours from volcanic islands of the Pacific.

The Vanuatu flavour is sourced Malakula Island, the Papua New Guinea flavour is from Karkar Island, and the Philippines bar from Mindanao Island.

One of the world's biggest food and health companies, Nestlé has also been sourcing palm oil for some of its products from a supplier destroying rain forests in Indonesia's Papua region.

‘Strong signs of economic recovery’

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says they expect this growth trend to continue into the next medium term.

Business houses at this morning’s Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast were told that the Government intends to ensure that the economy continues its steady growth over a long period of time.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill also used the opportunity to reveal that Cabinet approved the 2019 budget yesterday.

“And that again shows a strong sign of recovery. The indications are very, very positive,” he said at the Hilton Hotel this morning.

Electoral Roll update and verification be prioritised

 This was one the recommendations by Transparency International PNG’s observation report on the 2017 National General Elections at the state of the pacific conference, held in Canberra Australia.

Executive Director of TIPNG, Arianne Kassman, was part of a panel focused on the 20-17 National General Elections in PNG, together with the Australian National University Observer team.  

Australian base in PNG would be of little benefit - academic

The government is said to be in talks with PNG to establish a joint naval base.

While Canberra has not confirmed the plans, it has commissioned a US$3 million infrastructure upgrade at PNG's Lombrum naval base on Manus Island.

PNG's defence minister is also reported as saying talks are underway.

Massey University's Anna Powles said Australia seems to be wanting to increase its military presence in the region.

Australian soldiers set to train in PNG

Full details of the proposal haven’t been disclosed, but the ABC reported plans were well advanced.

These would be similar to the long running Rifle Company Butterworth deployments where a company of Australian soldiers – three platoons of just over 100 soldiers – spend three months training for jungle warfare in the Malaysian jungle.