Newcomers force way into Pukpuks

Normal, Sports

The National, Monday 15th April, 2013


A rousing performance by non-Port Moresby players has impressed national selectors as they gain a spot in the 30-man Monier Pukpuks development squad.

The squad was named following a trial match held at the POMIS Oval in Port Moresby on Saturday.

The development squad will go on a tour to the Gold Coast, Australia, to attend an Australian Rugby Union (ARU) high performance training camp from April 24 to May 4.

Monier Pukpuks head coach Allan Manning was impressed with the passion and flair of some of the players who played themselves into the squad with their gutsy performance.

Manning said: “The players, particularly those from outside of Port Moresby, certainly didn’t hold back to bring out that competitive edge.

“It was just great to see players putting their bodies on the line. They were practically bashing each other in the mid-field.”

Lae-based players Robert Bulumaris and former PNG Under-20 skipper Jackson Pato, Bougainville’s sevens sensation Hubert Tsereha and Brisbane-based Ralph Susuve kicked up a storm with their fiery performances.

“Overall the squad looks good and I’m sure they will pick up a thing or two during this tour and that should set a good platform for the basis of the Oceania Cup team,” Manning said.

The training camp will end with a one-of match with the ARU development squad.

Development tour squad: Friend Kini Jnr, Keto Neheja, Mick Rau, Mike Mire, Ryan Sambath, (prop), Taomia Kapua Kapua, Joshua Vakona (hooker), Gabriel Biyama, Philip Suapo, William Maniot, Emmanuel Mora (lock), Desmond Korpok, Ezra Kautu, Raymond Vagi (blind-side flanker), Butler Morris, Geti Raka (open-side flanker), Billy Torea, Caijoh Waingut (No.8), Libiert Suang, Kumalau Auru (half-back), Ralph Susuve, Robert Bulumaris (five-eighth), Jackson Pato (inside-centre), Hubert Tsereha, Tisa Kautu (outside-centre), Albert Levi Jnr, Henry Liliket, Oswald Gela (wing), Mara Katam, Jonah Kautu Jnr (full-back).