PNG performed as expected: PNGRFU

The Papua New Guinea men’s sevens team that participated in the recent Wellington 7s tournament performed to expectations, says the PNG Rugby Football Union.

The PNG side was defeated all throughout the tournament against Samoa 35-7, Wales 29-7, Argentina 41-14, Kenya 47-5 and England 40-0.

PNGRFU interim chief executive officer Paul Joseph said PNGRFU didn’t have any high expectations of the team.

“Obviously we knew they were in a very tough pool and their preparation, as we all wanted, didn’t come as planned.”

Joseph highlighted that their main focus for the team and the coaching staff is to prepare for the Hong Kong 7s tournament from April 7-9, which is the qualifier for the World Series.

“Having to play in Wellington against the top teams is exactly what we want for the team to get their game on for Hong Kong.

“We still remain on target to ensure the boys get to reach their top fitness level and mental ability.

“Having to play against the top teams in Wellington and the upcoming Sydney 7s this weekend will allow them to prepare mentally and physically for the main event in Hong Kong,” Joseph said.

PNG gained qualification for the Wellington and Sydney rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the 2017-18 qualifiers in Hong Kong, via a fourth-place finish at the Oceania Sevens in Fiji in November 2016.

PNG squad: Henry Kalua, Willie Tirang, Danny Opa, Nathan Baramun, Wesley Vali, Manu Guise, Arthur Clement, Freddy Rova, Dean Manale, Gairo Kapana, Patrick Tatut, Max Vali.

(Daniel Opa of Papua New Guinea offloads against England on day one of the HSBC Wellington Sevens on 28 January, 2017 - round three of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17. Photo: Michael Lee @ KLC Fotos/World Rugby)

Quintina Naime