NATIONAL Sevens champion Kimbe Rebels are hotly tipped to take out the Trans Highway rugby union sevens title set for Lae on Saturday.
With the inclusion of benched PNG Sevens flyers Gare Ponda and Leo Tikot Jr for the Fiji trip, the West New Britain team will be out in full strength to stamp their mark in sevens football.
The acquisition of Rabaul Royals organiser Eric Kaiat and the former Agmark Guria center Henry Wartovo is a plus for the team in this weekend’s quest for the prized Sevens Cup.
The Rebels will be without their frontman Freddie Mathies but veteran Michael Vitolo will lead the champion team across the Bismark sea to play in the PNGRFU-sanctioned tournament.
Member of the organising committee Robin Tarere said Kimbe Rebels are among 16 teams which have confirmed their participation yesterday with all the necessary documents and requirements now out of the way.
He said the Rebels will lead the charge as favorites going into the weekend, closely followed by Lae sides Unitech Reds, Royals, Telikom, Vikings, Pirates, Leatherbacks, Harlies, Defence, and a Rookies side made up of Under 20 squad members.
The rest of the field are late inclusions Mt Hagen, former national champions Goroka Silverbacks, Goroka Kilituais, Goroka Harlies, NGI Wairas, Madang Kalibobos, and darkhorses Madang Madgauns.
Late entry, Mt Hagen may yet deliver some surprises for the weekend.
A total of K20,000 in prize money is up for grabs in the different categories, whilst other sponsorship support has and will go into the organisation and running of the tournament
Supporters Club Rugby Union Morobe’s (SCRUM) continued support in the other areas of the tournament will again come to the fore, in their efforts to make the tournament a success.
He told The National from Lae that apart from the little technical matters, the field for the tournament was final now, and ready for competition.
“We’ve had to urgently deliberate on the final teams, with teams coming in at the last minute, this list is now final and hopefully put to rest, enquiries”, Tarere said.
“All teams were given ample time, and the 16 we have now is all we can take now, according to equal pool numbers.”