12 teams for STC rugby 7s challenge

Normal, Sports

TEAMS from various arms of the Steamships Group of Companies are all set for the STC rugby extravaganza on Saturday in the annual Steamships Rugby Union 7s tournament at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby. This year’s tournament is the 19th since 1991 and has attracted teams from various departments to showcase their style and potential in rugby in the race for championship honours. Only 12 teams from last year’s 14 will return to compete against each other. Steamships Madang are unable to make the trip while Datec Port Moresby are currently busy relocating offices. Last year’s champions Lae 1 will return to defend their title along with Lae 2. The rest of the field has Shipping 1 and 2, Hotels 1 and 2, Highlands, Property, Laga Industries, Transport 1 and 2, and Head Office. Giving strength to Lae’s title defence will be rugby regulars Peter Opa, Agi Tete and Alu Goa while strong resistance may come from former Pukpuk Albert Kaupa’s Shipping side and Hotels led by another regular rugby back Graham Lausi. A notable omission will be ‘ace product’ Karo Kauna, who is now away on representative duties with the PNG Pukpuk 7s team at the Pacific 7s in Tahiti. Kauna coming through the ranks is a product of the STC 7s from over the years. “It’s an event for the staff and their families,” tournament director Yokin Kipie said. “Apart from Madang and Datec Port Moresby we are set for the weekend,” he added. The gates are expected to be opened at 7.30am tomorrow for the first kick-off at 8.30am.