Monday, October 02, 2017

Penrith rout PNG for NRL interstate title

Penrith have flogged Papua New Guinea 42-18 to take out the NRL Interstate Championship at ANZ Stadium.
Penrith have spoiled Papua New Guinea's Cinderella story with a 42-18 rout in the NRL Interstate Championship at ANZ Stadium.

The NSW Cup premiers ran riot with the game effectively over at 38-2 at halftime after Tony Satini ran in four tries in the first 40 minutes.

The victory was yet another feather in the cap for coach Garth Brennan who was amassed two NSW Cup titles and an under-20s premiership during his time at the foot of the mountains.

Along with the likes of Laurie Daley, Chris and Shane Walker and Jason Demetriou, Brennan is one of the contenders for the vacant Gold Coast NRL job.

He sent a loud and resounding message about his coaching nous by leading his side to an eight tries to three flogging on the NRL's grand final day but was coy on his future.

"It'd be nice. But I don't focus on it, I don't dwell on it, it's something I can't control," Brennan said.

"What I can control is preparing my team as best I can to get the result and if I do that the rest looks after itself.

"I've got an ongoing contract with Gus (Panthers general manager Phil Gould), it just rolls over. Keeping him happy is very good."

The Hunters came into the match as the feel good story after winning their first piece of silverware in last week's Queensland Cup grand final against the Sunshine Coast.

However the side from the rugby league-mad island nation was outclassed and overpowered.

Coach Michael Marum admitted his squad, who had never been to Sydney let alone played on ANZ Stadium, was overawed by the occasion.

The Hunters struck first with a penalty goal through captain Ase Boas however former Manly outside back Satini ran in three tries in seven minutes to put his side on top.

Halfback Darren Nicholls was also outstanding, stretching the Hunters defence and crossing under the posts to make it 22-2 after 21 minutes.

After Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai was sin-binned for a professional foul in the 67th minute, the Hunters ran in consolation tries through Adex Wera, Bland Abavu and Boas.

"Maybe they were overawed in the first half. We let in seven tries," Marum said.

"But we won the second half. We got back in it but full credit to the Panthers, they're a quality side with a lot of NRL experience in it."

World's largest butterfly faces extinction due to Papua New Guinea’s palm oil industry

by TAGS,
September 28, 2017

It is perhaps because of their beauty and grace that they were named after the wife of Edward VII.
In the Northern Province of Papua New Guinea, the density of Queen Alexandra's Birdwing has shrunk to only 10 per sq km. Credit: Angelus Palik / SBBT
Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing, the largest butterfly in the world with a wingspan of 30cm—at least 10 times the size of common butterflies—was discovered in Papua New Guinea in 1906. More than a century later, one of the world’s rarest species has become the most endangered. In the Northern Province of Papua New Guinea, the last frontier, the density of this butterfly has shrunk to only 10 per square kilometre. They are now handful in number, but what’s causing their race to dwindle?

New Guinea, which is the world’s second largest island, has an ideal climate for palm production, with Indonesia occupying the western half of the island and Papua New Guinea forming the island’s eastern side. Palm oil producers in the western part are fast expanding into Papua New Guinea to reach the goal of producing 40 million metric tonnes by 2020.

With traditional locations for plantations becoming saturated, companies are now turning to seemingly unexploited tropical forest in Papua New Guinea. The scramble for producing more palm oil is leading to rampant clearing of forests—natural habitat of birdwing butterfly. The country is already witnessing a steady increase in FORMA alerts—fortnightly updates based on satellite images on spots that have recently been cleared.

In 2013, Papua New Guinea received nearly 2,200 alerts—the highest since recordkeeping began in 2006. Not only are the trees being cut indiscriminately, the area earmarked for palm oil production is set on fire as a preferred method of clearing. The extent of damage done in the tropical rainforest is somewhat evident in satellite images.
Actively burning areas with significant smoke rising from these areas as detected by a satellite on September 24, 2015. Credit: NASA

There have also been reports about government losing control over palm plantations, which are being increasingly privatised, with Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian investors appropriating lands of the locals to increase the network of oil palm plantations.

Three endangered species in Papua New Guinea

The same region, whose landscape is undergoing a rapid change, is home to three out of the top 10 endangered species of shallowtail and birdwing butterflies. While Queen Alexandra's birdwing is considered endangered by the IUCN, Papilio moerneri is one of the rarest and least known of all Papua New Guinea Swallowtail butterflies that has not been seen since 1924. The Southern Tailed Birdwing is also considered vulnerable. Habitat alteration due to volcanic eruption in the 50s and habitat destruction for oil palm plantations are key reasons why they are pushed to the brink of extinction.

New conservation project

Fortunately, a new initiative is coming to the rescue of these beautiful winged creatures. The Swallowtail and Birdwing Butterfly Trust (SBBT), led by entomologists and conservationists, has been established to conserve and protect butterflies of Papilionidae family globally. Its first project is Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing.

With funding from the Malaysia-based Sime Darby Foundation (SDF), the SBBT is trying to create a state-of-the-art captive breeding and release facility in New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL)’s Higaturu palm oil estate—the heart of the butterfly’s home. The captive breeding and release programme will be accompanied by habitat enrichment and protection of remaining forest areas around oil palm plantations.

“Sustainable conservation requires high quality, practical, on-the-ground conservation, with local communities and business working in partnership,” says Mark Collins, chairman of SBBT and ex-director of the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

The SBBT, according to its official website, is providing technical, scientific and international support for “studying the best areas to release the butterflies in the forests surrounding the palm oil estates, cultivating vines in those areas, and making sure there are supplies of the butterflies' favourite food plant, the Dutchman’s pipe”.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The woman I never knew


As I look into the face in the photo
Into the eyes of the woman I never knew, lying on her hospital bed, her mother beside her
I feel the hurt
The pain

She shows me the humiliation
Of being stripped naked
The most-excruciating  agony
As hot metal burns her body and razors cut through

I hear her cries
Which fall upon deaf dears
No one in this country can help her on Independence Day
They are oblivious to her pleas for mercy, as her life seeps away

I believe that this woman and many more, should never be forgotten
For they are victims of sanguma
And the Devil laughs as he takes control of this Christian country
The dark forces of evil take control of the land


-Dedicated to the memory of the two Enga women who were tortured with hot metal and cut with razor blades on Independence Day, on accusations of being sanguma, and subsequently died.

Monday, September 25, 2017

An ode to the PNG Hunters

This is a small piece which I wrote on my phone this morning. I hope you like it:

An ode to the PNG Hunters

They came from north of the border
To the colosseum at Suncorp
Modern-day gladiators
Hunters from Papua New Guinea

They carried the hopes and dreams of a nation
Upon their shoulders
So much gloom, doom and despair
A little ray of sunshine was needed

All was lost, it seemed
When in from the cold came Willie Minoga
Like a runaway freight train from Enga
Grounding the ball at the last minute

And for a moment in time
All of Papua New Guinea erupted
A crescendo from the islands to the mountains
As the sons and daughters of this beautiful land arose as one, singing a new song of hope

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Papua New Guinea Hunters win Queensland Cup Grand Final in last minute

by John Coomer,
September 24, 2017

The PNG Hunters have scored in the final minute to win their first Queensland Cup in a thrilling finish at Suncorp Stadium against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

Trailing 10-6, Hunters’ five-eighth, captain and man-of-the-match Ase Boas put through a grubber as their last throw of the dice. Interchange forward Willie Minoga won a desperate race for the ball, grounding it just before the dead-ball line.

Boas then calmly slotted the conversion from beside the posts to put the Hunters in the lead for the first time in the match.

The Falcons then went for a short kick-off that didn’t work. The hooter sounded seconds later, sparking wild celebrations among the Hunters players and many in the crowd. No doubt the entire population of PNG will be celebrating long and hard for the next few days.

Earlier, the Falcons had a dream start to the match, scoring two tries in the first seven minutes of the first half. The first came in their opening set, when they threw the ball wide to try and exploit the Hunters’ slide defence. It worked, with winger Matt Soper-Lawler crossing in the corner.

The Falcons scored again five minutes later when halfback Ryley Jacks put hard-running backrower Joe Stimson over.

The Hunters managed to steady their defence for the rest of the half, but couldn’t hang onto the ball for long enough to mount any attacking pressure. They went into the sheds trailing 10-0.

They needed to score first in the second half to get some confidence and the Falcons did them a huge favour when they knocked on from the kick-off. In the next set, Ase Boas put in a grubber and his brother Watson Boas ended up scoring from it to get the Hunters on the scoreboard.

Both teams were willing to throw the ball around in very warm September conditions in Brisbane, but were let down by their handling throughout the game. The completion rate of the Hunters, in particular, was poor. They looked very nervous. But the defence from both sides was also very willing. You couldn’t fault their commitment or desperation.

The win means the Hunters will play the winner of the New South Wales Cup in the curtain-raiser to the Melbourne/Cowboys grand final next weekend. Their opponent will be the winner of Penrith and Wyong, played tonight.

It’s the fourth season for the very popular PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup, and this win is their history-making first premiership.

Final score
PNG Hunters 12 
Sunshine Coast Falcons 10

Sunday, September 10, 2017

PNG Hunters into historic first grand final

THE PNG Hunters have made Intrust Super Cup history, after they advanced to their first grand final with a gritty 6-4 victory over Redcliffe today.

Michael Marum’s side put on a defensive masterclass in Port Moresby, denying the Dolphins the chance to score any tries in front of a packed stadium with more than 14,000 people.

All of Redcliffe’s points came from penalty goals, while PNG skipper Ase Boas scored the only four-pointer of the game to send the Dolphins back to Queensland without the much-needed win.

The massive effort from the Hunters will see them play in their first grand final on September 24 at Suncorp Stadium.

Redcliffe meanwhile will host the Sunshine Coast in a preliminary final next Sunday, with the two teams to battle it out for the other spot in the grand final.

Monday, September 04, 2017

A Father's Day gift

My babies gave me this today
And bring tears to my eyes
They are my strength
My inspiration
The wind beneath my wings

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Laying the red carpet for our visitors

I got up early and took a Saturday morning stroll from my home at 8-Mile to the main highway.
The entire pavement was painted red with betel nut (buai) spit.

There is nothing wrong with betel nut growing and selling, just the chewing and spitting. 

This is not only happening in Port Moresby but all over the country.
It's a disgusting and insidious habit.
People - even those highly educated ones holding big jobs - spit everywhere without a care in the world.
We talk about corruption, crime, homebrew and marijuana, but the spitting of buai is just as bad.
Shame on you if you are one of these serial spitters painting the town red.
Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea will host APEC 2018 in a few month's time.
We are already laying the red carpet for our visitors.