1996 - Papua New Guinea

TUESDAY 1ST OCTOBER * assembly at Sydney Football Stadium
* traditional & alternate playing strips used in photos
* settled in at the Salvation Army Centre at Collaroy
* gear presentation - pride in the Australian Coat of Arms
* very interesting talk by a Sports Psychologist
Everyone met up at the Sydney Football Stadium for the team photos and medical, while everyone was declared fit there were a few boys who were struggling. A trip down to Manly Courso for lunch allowed as to catch a peak at the new haircuts which the Manly players had given themselves after their win on Sunday. After lunch, it was up to our place of residence for the week at the Salvation Army camp or something. Everyone was allocated rooms then went for a bit of b-ball where we saw some girls team rolled by big Lazarus and Shawn Kemp busting a few moves. Given a talk on optimism and how it is supposed to make you a better player if you think positively. So now we have all agreed that optimism is the way to go - so look out you pessimistic ones. Owen turned up late at the camp as usual after he had missed the photos. Chris Smith played basketball like no one has seen before -"like a chook with it's head cut off".
Galahs of the day: Chris Smith, Owen Craigie

WEDNESDAY 2ND OCTOBER * trained all day at the NSWRL Academy at Narrabeen -5 hours in total
* continued Sports Psychologist session
Today was a good day all the boys are starting to bond together and getting to know each other better. Training was so hot, early in the morning rise plus some of us had the flu and today was a day of laughter where the boys were telling jokes and talking about their experiences. Chris Smith and I got the "catch of the day" shirt for no reason what so ever. Well that's all that I have to say but later I will rave on. Yeah another thing it's good to be between a lot of humorous, funny and top blokes and it's great to have a friendship with yaz boys. "PEACE
Owen Craigie

THURSDAY 3RD OCTOBER * training all day again at Narrabeen
* had dinner in the Western suburbs of Sydney followed by a movie
It was an early start, 7. Ooam, we all went to the beach for a walk everyone was still half asleep. We got back to the camp and ate some breakfast and headed off to training. the morning session was a good one - Brian was pretty pleased, and we've got 2 more sessions before we fly out but there is still so much work to be done. For lunch today and every other day we had sandwiches - no hot food (I wouldn't mind some hot chips or a pie just so I could recover from training a lot quicker.) After lunch all the boys got together and had a bit of a sing along (the girls loved Frank and Tony) Smithy also sang another great song and the people were more then pleased to hear his voice again. Training after lunch as short and fast as everyone knew the moves. Brian was happy.

FRIDAY 4TH OCTOBER * a continuation of the previous couple of days
First up we had breakfast at 8:3Oam After having breakfast we got set for training. Got to the field put our boots on and did the things that had to be done. We were all very tired, but that's the way it goes. We went over our moves and went over some back moves and also the forwards. We did that and when we were done we went back to camp for lunch. We had sandwiches for lunch - the same everyday. After lunch we had free time, all the boys played Basketball. Then we got ready to go to Manly, some of the boys weren't ready so we had a talk. We heard the news about Super League and ARL, Super League won but the ARL won't go down. Then we went to Manly, we walked around checking out the place. Then we all went back to the bus and came back to camp to get ready to go to sleep and leave in the morning. Bye, Royston Lightning Brian Leauma Continued......
Van Damme input,
Today we (Todd Payton and Frank Van Damme) kicked Bolt and Owie on the court. They thought we were pretenders but then Todd threw an ally oop and I dunked it on Craigie. I hit my head on the ring. Cut Tony and Rays hair UGLIEST FOOLS, Smithy's still ugly. Frank's still a "STUD". Brian shaved his head with a NIKE tick at the back, after his parents see him I don't think he'll make the rest of the tour. Time to sleep.

* Qantas QF 135 Sydney to Brisbane & then Air NuiginiPX 006 Brisbane to Port Moresby
* Met the Australian Senior Test team at Boroko
* Itinerary change
* Settled in to the Bluff Inn - 30 minutes out of PortMoresby
Today is our travelling day and we got up early for the day's proceeding - Manager Smithy woke us up for breakfast at 5:15. While we were eating Kerry did his yearly exercise after seeing everybody's room. For once everybody was ready and on time and met up at the bus with our bags packed. There has been plenty of talk amongst players in camp about next year after Super League's win in court, it has certainly caused plenty of confusion amongst the players. There is also an air of uncertainty from the players about what the next 11 days holds in store for us because at the present time we haven't a place to stay for our duration. On our arrival we found the locals to be friendly with their ever willing attitude to lend a hand and their huge following of our great game. We visited Port Moresby's RL ground and found it to be pretty hard We watched the Senior team warm-up. We drove through Moresby to find weather conditions very harsh and we were able to soak up some geography of New Guinea. Many of us were surprised to see a 4-wheel drive police unit with 6 coppers all armed with a machinegun.
Time for bed as we are all looking forward to tomorrows opening match.
Toddy Payton

SUNDAY 6TH OCTOBER * preparation for first game in Papua New Guinea
* captains named - Ted Simpson, Owen Craigie, NathanCayless & Ben Galea
* game was memorable - entertainment was spectacular
* first time the Australian Schoolboys have played with the Senior Australian Kangaroos
* becoming a little uneasy about apparent lack of planning & any itinerary at all
* Australian Test team were very obliging & Geoff Carr was most helpful
Five people awoke on time for breakfast and the rest followed- up to 20 minutes later. We had breakfast, a rest and a team meeting where the captains and the starting line up for today's opening game were announced. The game was successful with us winning 38-6 but a lot of mistakes and missed scoring opportunities led to our domination not being portrayed onto the scoreboard. I myself was upset with one refereeing decision when I was used as a HUMAN SPEAR and I head butted the ground without receiving a penalty. Every one came through the game O.K and Nath got the game ball. That night we had tea with the first graders who also had a win today and enjoyed the experience. Everyone is confused at how to feel, we like the people and being as a team but also want to be home. I am looking forward to the rest of the tour.
Adam Perry

MONDAY 7TH OCTOBER * today everything was looking good - looks can be deceiving
* promised itinerary did not eventuate
* stranded at Port Moresby airport - no tickets or luggage flight to Mt Hagen did not happen
* booked into Coral Seas Hotel - the Gateway
As we woke up to the noise of the guards knocking down my door; I realised how hot & humid it is. The guards took a few boys to a croc farm down the road from our 5 star hotel We had breakfast and then went to the oval to train that was also very hot. Today was tough for the team and the coaching staff. After training we went for a look down the street and got to do some shopping and look at the local talent We all thought we were going home tomorrow, but we were disappointed again!! Well after a whole lot of mucking around at the airport and running all over the joint we have finally settled into a place a little more comfortable and are starting to get a little more organised. Hopefully from now on we can start to enjoy ourselves a little more and know where we are going. Now we can focus on the games we have ahead of us. All the fellas are looking forward to playing the Under 40's side from Mt Hagen so we can bash them into the ground.

TUESDAY 8TH OCTOBER * flew to Mt Hagen
*Air Nuigini PX 168 Port Moresby to Mt Hagen
*more problems with accommodation
*Rugby League officials at Mt Hagen are excellent - thankGod
*game at remote Nondugl was an experience that will be remembered forever by those who were there
Everybody was unwantingly woken up at 5:30am by Rolf Harris(Smithy's look alike). We travelled to Mt Hagan where a great change in culture was apparent. We arrived in Mt Hagan with a change in climate and a new experience in market shopping. As we travelled to our hotel by bus, we took in the mountains of Mt Hagan which are unbelievable. We first went to where we were arranged to stay where there was no running water, electricity or beds. This did not go down very well with the touring party and we changed to a different hotel, which was better. Our match for today was at 3:Oopm and as we had trouble with our hotel our preparation for this game became different. We changed before leaving for the ground into jumpers, boots and all. It took 45min to get to the ground after travelling up dirt tracks and hills. We arrived at the ground which was surrounded by natives and a fence which stood three metres high made by long sticks. We won the game 48-0. The crowd was on the side line and the dead ball line was only 2 metres from the try line. The field was almost all dirt and very uneven. The crowd loved the game and surrounded us after the match. Terence, Owie and Space received presents from the people for Man Of The Match awards. This day and the football match will stick in our minds forever. It was a great experience, the atmosphere of the crowd was indescribable A great positive out of today's match was our defence and attack in the second half .The form has certainly turned a corner and only better football will come. A discussion between all the touring party happened later that night about the rest of the tour. In the end it was all sorted out and the tour continued on.
Trent Runciman & Ted Simpson

* Air Nuigini PX 185 Mt Hagen to Lae
* further trouble but we are getting used to it - no luggage
* Lae Rugby League officials are also excellent
* accommodation is excellent
Wednesday morning we all went to the markets at the airport and the main shopping centre at Mt Hagen. After all that hectic shopping we went and caught a flight to Lae. Our arrival at Lae was what you could say as being expected. We arrived at Lae airport to find out that most of our luggage had not been put on the plane.Being as smart as l am,I left my wallet on the plane but I was lucky enough to find out that they had it in Moresby. After an hour we arrived at our accommodation called "the Melanisian Hotel - "It's not bad it's getting better." We muststart to look on the optimistic side and be positive I want to go home .
Terrence & Spacey
Smithy's Entry
Wednesday 9th October started off a bit better than Tuesday8th, don 't get me wrong, Tuesday's game against the Highlanders at MtHagen was an experience I shall not forget as it was the saviour of the tour. Because of all the stuff ups and complications the fellas wanted to abort the toil? "they wanted to go home," I didn't. I wanted to finish what we have started. Anyway Wednesday was the next day after Tuesday, and after the big meeting everyone was back to normal and everyone was focused on the job at hand. On Wednesday we went down to the market but it was ordinary, Wednesday was a drag it was a long, long, long, long, long, long day. Anyway to make things worse when we flew over to Lae from Mt Hagen they had left most of our bags at Mt Hagen and only a few of the boys got some of their luggage back (which caused more turmoil between players and coaching staff). Anyway we accepted it and we jumped onthe bus which took us to the hotel. Galah of the day went to Walker.

THURSDAY 10TH OCTOBER * luggage finally arrives
* game against Morobe Country RL team is very entertaining
The game we played went to plan, we ran out winners 48-6. Man Of The Match was Benny Rauter who put in a great effort, Rhys Wesserhad another great game where he scored 2 tries. However the Lae schoolboys side declared that Roysten Lightning was their Man Of The Match, he therefore received a bilum (type of bag). Like before the people were a great crowd cheering for both teams at times. I think it's great to share our Rugby League with others, to demonstrate the power and love of the game. Yet our tour is not over. During this game however there are a few barry blowin's that ran onto the field in the second half who had come out of the crowd and went into the change rooms and got changed. These men had full grown beards though on one of their first hit ups Ben Rauter pulled off one of the hits of the tour, they were a bit hesitant to run after that first hit eventually they stopped the game after 20mins into the second half as the officials must have feared for the PNG boys safety as we belted them into submission,they had surrendered.
Nathan Cayless

FRIDAY 11TH OCTOBER * flew to Port Moresby late afternoon
* Air Nuigini PX 203 Lae to Port Moresby
* more accommodation problems in Moresby - sorted out
Today looked good as it was a free day until the coaching staff decided on a game of touch The team walked to the nearest gravelpit with goal posts and the coach declared that this was the field that we would train all week. To our surprise young Noa Nandruku turned up and scored some beautiful tries against timid defence The Sega Saturn also got a fair work out today, with the boys lined up at the door for a go. In the afternoon it was off to Port Moresby. The plane ride was a bit risky as Brain Leauma showed his stuff in the cockpit. We then headed off to Ambers Inn, where we were supposed to stay for the duration of the tour, but asit turned out Bob once again decided to make things difficultby cancelling this appointment. Mr Paul " I'll fix it "Smith and his parrot John "Don't eat that "Douglas again assured us not to worry as they'll " Take care of it "all this off field stuff "So boys just concentrate on the game".
Trent Burns

SATURDAY 12TH OCTOBER * day of rest before the Test - the Australian Schoolboys have never lost a test series & since there is only one test - tomorrows game is
* day of turmoil for officials
Today was an easy day with a whole lot of relaxing around the pool. During the day we went to the Arts & Craft Artefacts Centre in Port Moresby where Dougo promised all these cheap prices on everything- but the prices were bit steep-you would pay 10 kina for a necklace that in the streets was 1 kina but the prices for masks were alright as Smithy(Paul that is) would know because he bought 20 of them. Rest of the day just passed by.

SUNDAY 13TH OCTOBER * played the TEST match today & had a convincingWIN 64 - 6
Today we play the test - we've all been looking forwardto it so we can go home. The scorewas 64-6. That man Nate Cayless kicked ass in his big steam rolling runs, the centres Owie & Roy kicked ass. I think everyone had a great game today & I think what everyone is looking forward to now is going home- back to AUSTRALIA & I'm glad to say the tour is over for 1996.


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