PNG touch sides retain titles


PAPUA New Guinea won gold in the men and women’s touch at the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa, yesterday.
Samoa won both silver and Fiji bagged bronze.
“They’ve put in a lot of hard work and effort, and it has paid off,” PNG women’s team coach Peter Stoddart said as celebrations began.
“We had a few injuries going into that last game with Samoa.
“But the players pulled through.
They did it for each other and their country.
“The tough games were between Fiji and Samoa.
“It wasn’t as easy as the scoreboards made it out to be.
“The team were really struggling for air, but managed to push through.”
It was an emotional win for PNG women’s team player Grace Kouba.
“I’m excited and overwhelmed, I just can’t express myself, I’m so happy,” she said.
“This is such a great privilege for me to play in my second Pacific Games tournament.
“It’s a different atmosphere from the 2015 Games, playing on a different turf and winning gold is really something special.
“Our hard work has really paid off. It’s been a tough week for us all, but we gave it our all and left it all on the field.”
PNG men’s team skipper Eugene Eka was pleased with the victory.
“It’s a special feeling winning gold away from home,” he said.
“It’s also special winning gold with an awesome bunch of brothers and management.
“Everyone came prepared to play against us and we expected that, but our coaches trained us well and put us through a lot of drills which set the standard for us to win this.”
He said it meant a lot representing a country of eight million people at the Games.
“The jersey we put on is not for us, it represents our families. It really means a lot,” Eka said.
“It’s humbling to know that we have achieved what was expected from our families and friends.”
– gamesnewsservice

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