Rebels win Black Orchid Sevens Cup

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REIGNING National sevens champions Kimbe Rebels notched another tournament win to their already impressive record when they wiped out Unitech Reds 32-0 at Hutjena Oval, Buka, in the Cup final of the Bougainville Black Orchid Sevens tournament yesterday.
Despite wet weather over the two-day tournament, the Cup final was essentially decided in the first half after Rebels exploded with four tries – all unconverted – towards the end of the opening half after a tense but uneventful first five minutes to head into the break 20-0.
Rebels captain Freddie Mathies got his side on the board with a try off a scrum near the Reds line and from there Kimbe’s vaunted pace machine shifted into high gear. PNG sevens speedster Leo Tikot Jr wowed a capacity crowd with a scintillating two try burst one of which was an 80m effort on a rain drenched surface.
Reds, led by the experienced duo of Joseph Wamapiri and Aiem Pilakos could do little to stem the flow as Kimbe added another try before the break for an unassailable lead.
Rebels star Gina Ponda, on the comeback trail after an injury disrupted last two seasons showed glimpses of his best capping off the Kimbe assault with a double in the second stanza for a comprehensive final scoreline to the West New Britain men.
The win earned Kimbe K30,000 and has stamped the New Guinea Islands as the number one sevens playing region in PNG.
In other results Coke Reds defeated Traders Two 10-5 for the Shield, Hangan Pirates downed Traders One 25-17 for the Bowl while the Madang Madgauns, who were beaten by Buluminski Marlins in the Cup quarters, defeated Halia Rukp 35-0 to win the Plate.
Sixteen teams took part in the Black Orchid 7s with five sides, the Kimbe Rebels, Unitech Reds, Rabaul Royals, Madang Madgauns and the Buluminski Marlins of Kavieng from outside centres.
Special guests in attendance were Bouganiville Regional MP Fidelis Semoso, Autonomous Region of Bougainville president James Tanis, PNGRFU president Richard Sapias and National sevens coach Waisale Serevi.
All were impressed with the success of the tournament which not only showcased Bougainville’s sevens potential but also put on display a veritable who’s who of some of the best sevens exponents in the country.
Names like Gina Ponda, Albert Levi Jr, Leo Tikot Jr, Bobby Pau and Jeffrey Vineval were drawcards and provided fans with thrills over the two days.
Another rising star in Marlin’s 17-year-old Eugene Tabutabu was named the most valuable-player (MVP) of the tournament by national coach Serevi, who also donned host team Black Orchid’s colours and played a match.