The National, Friday 14th September 2012
By DAVID KARE
THE DPI oval at Kiburu will come alive this weekend when the Mendi Rugby Football Union Association (MRFUA) hosts its inaugural 7s tournament to celebrate the independence weekend.
Tournament director and vice-president MRFUA Michael Saghou yesterday said that it was a great opportunity for the newly-formed association to give something back to its players.
“Most of the players are unemployed and it’s very hard to secure funds but they have dug deep into their own pockets in order to participate in the last two tournaments in Lae and Madang” Saghou said.
The tournament will also be a selection trial to pick an 18-man train-on squad for the next sevens leg of the New Guinea Islands Sevens Circuit, which is yet to be confirmed.
Kimbe and Rabaul have yet to confirm the next meet.
Having already secured a sponsor for their Independence games MRFUA president Robin Asok was confident the tournament would build a solid platform to select the best squad to represent Mendi and the Southern Highlands in rugby union.
He added that this would help build interest in the rugby league-mad province.
TNT Crusaders, Kiburu Brumbies, NK Kumin Stormers, and Kembiakipu Reds are the four teams that will participate.
The winner will walk away with K600, runners-up K400, third place K300 and fourth K200.
Standout players from the provincial side that travelled to Madang last month for the Madang Sevens, year eight student Wesley Vali (Madang player of tournament), Mokai Haijah, Arthur Paul, Joey Ambrose and Rodney Luke are certain to provide a spectacle for spectators. The team also claimed the bowl at the tournament
The last sevens tournament staged in Mendi was in 2009 sponsored by Mineral Resources Development Company.