Lae brace for Commander’s Cup contest

The PNG Defence Force Commander’s Cup returns with Igam Barracks, Scrum Oval and Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae, Morobe Province to come alive as hosts.

The rugby union contest among Defence Force personnel will run from July 12-20th at the three mentioned venues.

When officially announcing the dates of the PNGDF Commanders Cup this week, Major General Mark Goina is for one belief, and that is to build unity amongst soldiers, sailors, airmen and women. 

He stated that it also unites the defence family. 

“These events also bring our dependents together as they rally behind their respective teams,” stated Major General Goina.

Historically, there has been a long-standing relationship between PNG Defence Force and the code of rugby union. PNGDF formerly under the Australian Army dominated the sport in the 60s, winning numerous premierships at Bava Park. 

This was the same in both the 70s and 80s, as more soldiers became involved in this particular code. During those periods, soldiers dominated the national rugby union team, Pukpuks. 
Major David Tiki is one such product, who is now the tournament coordinator for this year.

The games progressed during the years from the 90s and into year 2000 under various commanders. 
The PNGDF had conducted the 7s tournament in 2003, then bi-annually in 2005 and 2007. In 2009, under Commander Peter Ilau.

So far, all units have hosted the Commanders Cup. This year, the contest returns to the original host, Igam Barracks.

“As we move into new frontiers, we must adapt to the changes in the world, in accordance with Christian principles and our traditions. One such change is gender equality. We promote this in all our tournaments,” said Major General Goina.

The 10 teams participating are; Manus - HMPNGS Tarangau Sharks, Wewak- 2RPlR Muruks, Igam consists of three units (Engineer Battalion, Joint Forces Academy and Lae Area), they are also known as Igam Barracks 1 134 Crocs. 
In Central Province, there are two teams, Goldie Warriors and Long-Range Reconnaissance Unit Troopers. 

The rest of the teams are based out of National Capital District, they are Air Transport Wing Eagles, Force Support Battalion Tigers, IRPIR Diggers, HMPNGS Basilisk Marlins and HQPNGDF Chiefs.