By KEITH PUARIA
DAY one at the Rugby Union Sevens brought with it surprise packages, pure and raw rugby action at Bava Park in the National Capital District.
The opening game of the day saw rugby minnows, Team Central take Team West to the end going down by one conversion 5-7, but it was the second game finish that put a lot of question in the minds of another rugby minnow Team Bougainville, filtered with 11 boys playing at their first games in this level.
A ruling against AROB skipper Duncan Fama, for throwing the ball out at his own dead ball line at the fulltime whistle, whilst in possession, had the team and even the rugby experts confused, when the penalty was given against him two metres out from the line.
The match had been separated by nothing right from the start, with both teams running in unconverted tries each, and defending to the ‘wall’, through to halftime, and after. Both teams, with a majority of their players at the level for the first time showed a lot of spark scoring a try apiece again, however Bougainville had the upper hand going into fulltime, after converting their try, 12-10.
With the fulltime whistle gone, and Sepik on the attack, strong defence from their opponents kept the Momase boys out, until the ‘chuck out’ call, to which they capitalized on and dived over for the match winner and a final score 17-12.
Team Sepik took the win however on full throttle, amazing the crowd with their speed, flair and potential all day.
The other entertainers of the day, in their regular rugby style, Western, proved a different side to that which participated in the MRDC sevens last month led by young schoolboy Setia Marama, making the top four for todays finals.
Team Western will now join New Ireland, Eastern Highlands, East New Britain, Morobe, West New Britain, Team Sepik and hot favorites Team NCD in the battle for the medals today.
Whilst Manus, Southern Highlands and Oro are automatically out, Bougainville, Western Highlands, Central and Gulf will do battle for the minor bowl prizes.
The finals will be played at the Lloyd Robson Ovals today starting at 9am and a good size crowd is expected to attend.