The National – Friday, February 18, 2011
PNG National Sevens team will be a major drawcard at this weekend’s Coca-Cola Momase Trans Highways Rugby 7s tournament at the Scrum oval in Lae.
The national 7s team is among more than 20 teams confirmed to participate in this weekend’s tournament, sanctioned by the PNG Rugby Football Union.
The two-day event is expected to be tough with last year’s national sevens champions Tomaringa Royals, Kimbe’s Pacific MMI Rebels and Trans Highways champions Madang Gauns participating to wrestle for the ultimate prize.
The National Gaming Control Board has donated K10,000 for the event, while Seeto Kui and Coca-Cola have jumped on the bandwagon as support sponsors.
Momase Trans Highway Sevens tournament chairman Naka Songake and tournament director Robin Tarere acknowledged the support of PNG’s premier soft drink company, Coca-Cola Amatil, who has been a staunch support of rugby in Papua New Guinea.
The national marketing manager, Louise Maher and marketing services manager Lawrence Lahari presented the products, which included Coca-Cola, Nature’s Own water and new product Powerade sports drink, to officials at the Lae Scrum oval.
Maher said the competition, like the Coca-Cola Super 5s was a platform for identifying talent and building rugby PNG.
The event will be a breeding ground for young talent which can be filtered into the national sevens squad.
The Trans Highway 7s tournament is one of four regional events to screen and select potential players, who are selected into the train-on squad, and eventually make it to the national 7s team.
On another note, the acting speaker for the National Parliament and Talasea MP Francis Marus has stepped in to support the Gigo Hurricanes and Otens from West New Britain participating at the event.
He presented more than 43 players, including officials with return tickets yesterday.
Three teams – Hurricans, Otenz and Kimbe Rebels – from West New Britain, will be competing at the event.
It will also be featuring national sevens champions, Tomaringa from East New Britain.
Marus said West New Britain had produced some of the best players and he was eager to see more players from the province playing rugby and other sports.
He allocated more than K400,000 of his electoral funds towards supporting sports in the province.