PNG to do it for fallen mentor

Normal, Sports

The National, Tuesday 30th April 2013


LOOSE forwards Raymond Vagi and Billy Torea will again carry the work-load for the youthful Monier Papua New Guinea development team in today’s trial match with the Palm Beach Alleygators on the Gold Coast.

The match will be played at 7pm at the Alleygators home-ground, Currumbin Alley.   

The development team beat Nerang Bulls 17-7 with tries to winger Oswald Gela, centre Mara Katam and winger Albert Levi Jnr in their first trial match on Friday.

Team manager Billy Rapilla speaking by phone from Bond University said both Vagi and Torea were inspirational with their work-rate and basically led by example for the rest to lift.

Others that stood out were front-rowers Mike Rau and Friend Kini Jnr (until injured collar bone), Robert Bulmaris at five-eighth, Tisa Kautu at inside centre and Douglas Guise off the bench.

Rapilla further said the players have rallied well despite the passing of assistant coach Farrell Temata and have vowed to slog on.

“Farrell would have wanted the players to continue and they have responded well by taking Saturday off as sign of respect,” he added.

Possible starting line-up: Kingsley Lea (loose-head prop), Joshua Vakona (hooker), Ryan Sambath (tight-head prop), Emmanuel Mora (second-row), Cyjoh Waingut (second-row), Ezra Kautu (blind-side flanker), Geti Raka (open-side flanker), Buttler Morris (No.8), Kumalau Auru (half-back), Jonah Kautu Jnr (five-eight), Ralph Susuve (inside-centre), Hubert Tsereha (outside-centre), Oswald Gela (wing), Henry Liliket (wing), Mara Katam (fullback).

Reserves: Kapua Kapua, Keto Neheja, Mick Rau, Philip Suapo, Billy Torea, Ray Vagi, Dougie Guise, Robert Bulumaris, Albert Levi Jnr (one to be omitted).

The team will undergo skills training with Australian Wallaby assistant coach Andrew Blades in the morning, before their match in the evening.

Their last match on tour will be on Thursday against the Australian Under 20 team.

The tour will be used to identify Pukpuks for the Oceania Cup set for July in Port Moresby.

When the squad returns to Port Moresby another team will be selected to play a one-off trial match in Queensland in June.

This match will determine the final 26-man side that will take on the likes of  Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, American Samoa, Niue and Tahiti.