Rugby championship starts, Goroka-Madang names side

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday 14th September 2012

PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football Union general manager Simon Kerr says the national championship that begins today is the first step to picking a Pukpuks team. 
He said the Coca-Cola-sponsored three-day tournament at Supporters’ Club Rugby Union (SCRUM) oval in Lae will see four teams compete.
The teams are National Capital District, Morobe, Goroka-Madang and West New Britain.
Each team will play three matches, with the winner being the side that has the most competition points or better for-and-against.
Kerr thanked sponsor Coca-Cola Amatil for stepping in to back the tournament.
He said the championship would also serve to identify young talents for the national team through the Talented Pukpuk Programme (TPP).
TPP is an entry-level national talent identification programme where current and future Pukpuks’ rugby skills will be developed. 
The first step of TPP is creating a player database.
“We hope to have over 120 players’ information by the end of this tournament. “By the end of the year, following our national tour spanning across the regions not represented this weekend, we hope to have a database of a further 200 players,” Kerr said.
“We will also be keeping an eye on players from the Scrum U17s tour of Australia, the U19s Oceania tournament in Samoa for any potential TPP members.”
 In conjunction with the tournament there will be a game planning workshop for coaches, conducted by IRB educator, Lee Smith.
Meanwhile, the Madang-Goroka combined side were named yesterday after the sides played a trial match last Saturday, which Goroko won 13-10.
The team: George Wena, Desmond Tete, Chris Lai, Danny Saho,  Faith Kennedy, Jacob Joseph,  Samson Sasama, Moses Fina, Velu Maniha, Emmanuel Apolo,  Ian Robin (Goroka), Barry  Karo, Gabriel Bayama,  Robert Wail,  Neville Danny,  Grant Tonwingo, Willie Lakman,  Kambol Kaikipae,  Toby Towaili,  Arnold Lange,   Richard Bade, Koniel Galawae, Edwin Benjamin,  David Nawai, Donald Kias (Madang). The side would be coached  by Douglas Diave.