Posts Tagged ‘rugby league’

A different religion on a Sunday

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Sydney based teams in Australia’s National Rugby League often complain about the heat they encounter when playing night games in Townsville in winter because temperatures reach the mid 20s.
In Madang, Papua New Guinea games run all day Sunday and the midwinter temperatures consistently hit the 30s. The crushing humidity means the lightest shirt is soaked through with sweat in minutes.
A one kina entry fee (around 50 cents Australian) gets you five or six games of rugby league – “The Greatest Game of All” as the half painted mural on the clubhouse wall declares.
The plank bleachers have corrugated iron roofing that shelters the punters from the sun and provides something to whack when celebrating a try or big play.


Best view in the house

The first of three A grade games starts at 2pm with Madang North Raiders taking on Brothers. Every Christian denomination you can think of is doing business for souls, minds and bodies in New Guinea but has a religion ever achieved ubiquity like the Catholics with Brothers footy clubs?
The hot, wet climate ensures a soft ground and grass that grows in front of your eyes. When the ball is kicked into the ingoal it disappears in long grass – the dead ball line seems to operate on an honour system.

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