The National, Wednesday March 5th, 2014
By WENDY KATUSELE
FORMER national champions, the Morobe Hammerheads have spiced up the Brothers 40th anniversary invitational sevens tournament with their late inclusion.
With K10,000 on offer for the winner from a K28,000 prize pool, the Hammerheads have gave the competition a boost in what is looming to be an action packed two days at the Monier Rugby Park in Port Moresby.
The Hammerheads from Lae, under the guidance of former national sevens representative Ian Leklek, will now see six provincial teams vie for top honours in the Kramer Ausenco-sponsored event.
With the National Provincial Championships (NPC) the following weekend, the Brothers tournament is prefect prelude.
The Hammerheads inclusion has upped the ante as they join a list of favourites that includes current top pick Kimbe Rebels of West New Britain, Black Orchids of Bougainville, Aroma Coast of Central, Goroka Silverbacks of Eastern Highlands, the Daru Stingrays of Western and Iokea of Gulf.
Leklek said the tournament would be a great build-up for their NPC preparations.
The former Pukpuk flanker branded the event as “a tough one” with the Rebels, Black Orchids and Aroma all strong contenders.
“We fly in into Port Moresby on Friday and stay on for the NPC,” Leklek said from Lae.
“We’ll see how we go this weekend and I believe we have an outside chance.”
The Eastern Highlander said his side had trained hard for the last three weeks but admitted they were in for a tough ride considering the quality of the opposition.
The Hammerheads have their own stars whom Leklek was hoping to take the Morobeans deep into the finals.
Pukpuks Jackson Pato and Buttler Morris livewire Foster Laurie are some of Leklek’s go to men.
The Port Moresby teams are Harlequins, Defence, University, Brothers 1, Brothers 2, Nova, Gerehu Cowboys and Crusaders.
In the women’s division, reigning national champions Spartans, Harlequins, Chiefs, Brothers, Nova and Defence will do battle again.
Organiser Johnny Passingan said the break-up for the rest of the prize-money would be known by tomorrow when they released the draw. Both events would end with the announcement of the national sevens train-on squad and new coach and management to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July.