PNG Sevens lose all matches in NZ
The PNG Pukpuks Sevens team has completed the Wellington Sevens circuit in New Zealand and left Wellington to Sydney to participate in the Sydney Sevens this weekend. PNG was pooled with England, Kenya and Argentina – top tier countries currently on the World Series circuit.
The PNG Pukpuks lost 40 – 0 in the opener against England on their first match day of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17 in Wellington. In other pool games, PNG lost to Kenya (47-5) and Argentina (41-14). On Sunday, PNG played Wales and lost (29-7) and bowed out of the Shield semi-finals when Samoa beat PNG 35 – 7.
“There was a high chance of the boys struggling coming up against top tier nations that are on fully funded full time programs. “We will be using the Wellington Sevens and Sydney Sevens to expose our boys to this level of rugby in preparation for Hong Kong Sevens in April,” said national sevens coach Douglas Guise.
Guise added that the team needed to improve its structures and systems and move on from there. “Game wise- we are not far off as seen with half time scores. “Our boys lack strength as we don’t have strength and conditioning programs,” said Guise.
Team manager Damaris Minikula added that PNGRFU needs to get serious with full time programs for teams and in particularly so for when the teams qualify to participate in such world series tournaments.
“World Series tournaments such as the Wellington and Sydney Sevens is serious business and we’re up against the top tier team nations in the world.
“Our boys went to Fiji and participated at the Oceania 7s last year with no support from PNGRFU yet qualified for Wellington 7s, Sydney 7s and Hong Kong 7s this year.
“That means we have natural talent. We now need visionary managers at PNGRFU who can seriously take rugby union forward in this country.
“I’d like to thank our major sponsor MRDC for supporting the team, our families and individuals who have supported us,” said Minikula.