Pukpuks are on the right track: Guise

Sports

FOLLOWING their encouraging performance at the Hamilton Sevens over a week ago, the Papua New Guinea Pukpuks are setting their sights on the Hong Kong qualifiers and the Commonwealth Games, coach Douglas Guise, pictured, says.
The Pukpuks claimed back to back victories against Russia 33-7 in their final Pool B match followed by a 35-0 thumping of France in the Hamilton Sevens.
The Pukpuks eventually bowed out of the competition in the trophy quarter finals after going down to the USA 42-12.
Guise told The National that the impressive victories were a result of the team playing in back to back HSBC World Rugby Sevens series tournaments — first in Sydney (Jan 26-28) and later in Hamilton, New Zealand (Feb 3-4).
“It was tough with nine men on the last day of Sydney and 11 in Hamilton, with key players missing through injury,” Guise said.
“But I was really proud how the boys coped with these adversities and pushed on.
“This will give us great confidence going into the Hong Kong qualifiers (April 6-8) as we may be up against a couple of rugby powerhouses in Japan and Ireland, and the always well-backed teams in Hong Kong, Uganda, Chile and Germany,” Guise said.
“We showed defensively we have improved and can attack from anywhere on the park but must really tighten up on our set pieces, especially our lineouts and kick-offs.
“Given all that though, it is important for the group to be living and training together for longer periods if we are serious about qualifying to be a core team on the 10-nation HSBC 7s World Series circuit.
“This will also help us at other big events like the Commonwealth Games and ultimately the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco in July,” he said.
“So we would need good preparation and support to keep all the boys in Port Moresby for the next six months for these world class tournaments,” Guise said.

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