Focus is key: Palais coach


COACH of the ICTSI South Pacific Palais Paul Tietjens has commended his team for their commitment to their training especially as the last two weeks had been quite disruptive due to the festive period.
The continuous wet weather that Port Moresby faced where the majority of his players reside was equally challenging.
Tietjens said it would have been quite testing since the last training camp was in early December and the Christmas and New Year period when everybody was in celebration mode and trying to focus on training required some sacrifice and self-discipline from the women.
The squad, which includes three players from Australia — Gemma Schnaubelt, Yollanda Gittins and Anika Butler — who flew into Port Moresby on Sunday, started training on Monday.
Tietjens said test results showed some marked improvement in fitness levels following the opening day of the high performance training camp on Monday.
The Palais will continue training this week until Friday when the wider squad of 22 will be trimmed to the final 15 to continue preparations for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens next month.
Tietjens, in a short meeting following Monday’s two sessions, reminded the girls that they had to remain focused in training as they would be representing Papua New Guinea and many people were providing their support in different ways to enable participation of the team’s campaign.
These included sponsors Credit Corporation, who covered the bulk of the costs of this camp; G4S, which has been providing transportation for the Port Moresby-based players training and continued to do the same for this camp; Gateway Hotel, where the team is staying; the High Performance Centre and venue management trust for the training facilities.
The Palais have their sights set on the Sydney from Feb 1-3 where PNG is pooled against New Zealand, England and France.
Tietjens reminded his players to maintain their self-belief, work hard in training this week and continue the intensity on to the next camp in Sydney prior to the tournament.
He reminded his team that they needed to be focused so that “we are not there just there to make the numbers, and we want other teams to take notice of us”.
Tietjens said this was not just on the field but off it as well.
Assistant coach Frank Gabi directed the emphasis on quality training, saying that as the players were going through the sessions they had to maintain their concentration and be determined by not just doing the drills for the sake of doing them but to strive for proficiency in their skills and mental approach.
Other players in camp include Helen Abau, Catherine Anjo, Marie Biyama, Chelsea Garesa, Lynette Kwarula, Geua Larry, Taiva Lavai, Mala Mark, Fatima Rama, Kymlie Rapilla, Barbara Sigere and Gwen Pokana.
Debbie Kaore, who had a family bereavement, was excused for the early sessions but would join the camp today.
Others named in the squad were unavailable due to being unable to take time off from work or for other reasons. Following the Sydney 7s, the Palais will redirect their attention on the next round of the HSBC World 7s in Hong Kong, and depending on how they fare, have the potential of being a permanent member in the series which will be played at certain locations around the world in 2019.
The PNG Rugby Football Union interim board headed by chairman Syd Yates was working hard to attract as many sponsors as possible to join the campaign or invest some of the programmess necessary for the growth of the game.
Sponsors like ICTSI South Pacific group of companies, Kumul Petroleum Holdings, Credit Corporation, National Gaming Control Board (and chief executive Imelda Agon) and Pacific Industries, G4S as transport providers, Gateway Hotel for accommodation, Tactical Solutions International, High Performance Centre, Venue Management Trust at Aquatic Centre and Sir John Guise Stadium for training facilities, have been commended for their continued support.
Tietjens also applauded the squad for their contributions and assured the sponsors that they would do the best they could in order to return value.