PORT MORESBY, 18 NOVEMBER 2015 (THE NATIONAL) ----Papua New Guinea has booked a spot in the HSBC Hong Kong 7s tournament in April after beating Cook Islands 19-7 in the quarter-finals of the Oceania 7s in Auckland, New Zealand.
The team, led by skipper Tisa Kautu, featured debutants Robin Loma, Paul Nelson and Desmond Korpok, who played their first international matches for PNG at the tournament.
The InterOil-sponsored outfit beat American Samoa 47-0, Solomon Islands 52-0 to make the cup semi-finals and a possible berth at the Rio 2016 Olympics but lost 36-0 to Australia before slumping to Samoa 54-0 in the third-place playoff.
Australia clinched the Rio ticket with a 50-0 hiding of Tonga in the cup final.
“Our focus was to qualify for the Hong Kong 7s tournament,” coach Douglas Guise said.
“This is the first time PNG is playing back-to-back years at the HSBC Hong Kong 7s. Considering the top tier teams we were up against in Tonga, Samoa and Australia, the men did exceptionally well despite the fact that we only had eight players to use on the second day.”
Guise said though the result against Australia was disappointing, he was satisfied with the effort the players put in after a setback with injuries to Billy Torea, Manu Guise, Arthur Clement and the suspension of Wesley Vali.....PACNEWS