The ANZAC bonds between New Zealand and Australian soldiers based at Iraq’s Camp Taji remain as strong as ever – except perhaps on the rugby pitch.
CAPTION: Australian and New Zealand members of Task Group Taji-6 compete in a game of modified rugby league to help raise money for charity on Anzac Day in Iraq.
In a charity league match held on a sweltering ANZAC Day, New Zealand Defence Force personnel beat their Australian counterparts 32-20.
Task Group Taji’s Regimental Sergeant Major said both teams played with passion, despite the heat and the hard playing surface.
“It was all good fun and for a good cause – and the camaraderie was great,” he said.
The New Zealand and Australian Defence Force teams wore national team jerseys donated by New Zealand Rugby League and National Rugby League, respectively.
The charity league match raised US$2373 for the New Zealand Fallen Heroes Trust, an organisation that provides support for the families of military personnel killed or injured on operations overseas – and US$2638 for Legacy Australia.
About 100 New Zealand and 300 Australian troops comprise Task Group Taji, the combined New Zealand-Australian training mission that has trained around 34,000 Iraqi Security Forces personnel since May 2015.