By KEITH PUARIA
THE build-up to the weekend’s Wari Vele Aroma Rugby Sevens rose to yet another level early this week, with word reaching the city that host village Lalaura, was already bracing itself days ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s opening ceremony.
Wari Vele Agency director Ravu Vele, while confirming the Cup cash prizes and all trophies up for grabs, welcomed the news, satisfied with the role the company was playing through its sponsorship of the tournament.
“We have sponsored other tournaments, events, sports, churches, groups and this weekend’s tournament is a first from us for rugby union and the Aroma people.
“Hopefully, this will help spread the tournament and game to the other areas around and along the Magi Highway,” Vele said.
Vele added that the Cup winners would walk away with K5,000 in cash, as well as the Wari Vele Cup, while the runners-up would receive K3,000.
He could not confirm the rest of the Plate, Bowl and Shield cash prizes, but added that the rest of the trophies amounted to K7,000, besides the K2,200 for the Cup.
Individual trophies for the top players in various categories will also be up for grabs.
The company will also take care of the logistics costs of the tournament.
With 16 teams confirmed, the pools and draws have already been finalised.
Pool A will see a star-studded Pelagai1 with Port Moresby rugby’s Iala Roko, Ray Vagi and Heni Herea against Lalaura Warumana 2, Viriolo1, and new inclusion Buru.
Pool B consists of last year’s Cup runners-up Gavuone 1, Pelagai 2, Kelerakwa and Viriolo 2, while champions of the former Aroma coastline sevens, Lalaura Warumana 1, manned by rugby regulars Willie Rapilla and Bete Rario, head Pool C which includes Kapari1, Paramana and Wairavanua.
On the top of Pool D is Gavuone 2, the LB Tornadoes, who will be led by Aroma’s very own rugby flagship over the past eight months in the PNG sevens side, Kojo Ware, and they will be up against Kapari 2, Maopa Flying Fox and Kala’apa.