By KEITH PUARIA
THE Bougainville Black Orchid Rugby Sevens tournament is heating up ahead of its kick-off this Saturday at the Hutjena ovals, Buka.
Unitech Reds of Lae, left on Monday by sea, via Kimbe and Rabaul, whereby they were joined by national sevens champions Kimbe Rebels in Kimbe the following day, while Kavieng and Rabaul sides crossed the ‘notorious Lambom’ for Buka yesterday.
Bougainville Rugby president Peter Tsiamalili Jr said the anticipation for the Orchid’s start was building and Buka’s rugby fraternity was bracing itself for an exciting weekend.
“Its going to be huge, we’re excited but just making sure we are set,” Tsiamalili said.
Local clubs in the region have been quietly preparing for the weekend, with tournaments run throughout the past three weeks leading up.
While town teams O’Town, Hagan Pirates, Malasang Traders, and rural sides, Hago Barbarians, and the Halia group are quietly gearing for their visitors, new club Hamatana Hunters have been surprise entries into the tournament. Tsiamalili also acknowledged the passing of Hunters mentor, Chris Santo, who had been part of all lead-up work towards the tournament.
The tournament has also been driven by the possible attendance of National Sevens coach, Waisale Serevi, and a contingent from the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union.
A chance meeting last weekend by PNGRFU president Richard Sapias and Tsiamalili, after last month’s back page headlines, saw both rugby men, finally get together reaffirm their partnership.
Tsiamalili said that the most important thing was both men’s passion for the good of rugby, on and off the field, and that it was all about moving forward now.
“It was very positive, talking with president (Sapias).
“What Bougainville rugby is about now, is tournament like this, that can help and assist PNGRFU identify talent,” Tsiamalili said. Organisers invite assistance
The Black Orchid Sevens Tournament is now into its final preparation stages, and organisers have made a call out to all participating teams as well as parties that want to contribute, and be a part of the tournament, to contact them on 72092695, or email; [email protected].
Final date for registrations and confirmation have been set for today.