By ISAAC LIRI
KEEPING it simple and basic was the message stressed by the Autonomous Region of Bougainville Black Orchids coach Kelly Havara to his players, as they set their sights on the National Provincial Sevens Championships from Oct 15-16.
Havara said the recent past were trying times for the Black Orchids, who were side-tracked with disciplinary issues that resulted in subpar performances when hosting the Black Orchid 7s tournament in Arawa and their participation at the Kalibobo 7s in Madang — two tournaments which the team took part in without reaping any awards.
Havara confirmed they would not take part in this week’s Hetura 7s at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, as their focus was on the national provincial championships.
The Black Orchids have been training at the Hutjena Oval for six weeks straight since returning from Madang. “Training has been good for us, we are aiming to bring back some pride for the team that is why we’re working so hard, but overall we have to focus on the small things and get them right,” Havara said.
Havara said they would have the services of PNG Pukpuks representative Hubert Tseraha for the national championships.
“It is a major boost to have Tseraha back with us as he will bring a lot of experience into the team,” Havara said. “He is a leading figure in the side and we are all happy to have him back.”
Havara said the final 12-man team would be named by the end of this week.
He said they would have a mixture of players from North and Central Bougainville, including the best youngsters from the sevens programmes in the region.
“A mixture of players, both experienced and first-timers, will be brought to the national championships. For the rookies, it will be good to showcase their talents, and for the veterans, they will lead the team both on and off the field,” he said. The Black Orchids will travel to Port Moresby with a women’s team, which will be a milestone for the Black Orchids management and sevens in the once war-torn region.
Havara said they would use the championship to prepare players for the 7th PNG Games in March.
By ISAAC LIRI