The National, Wednesday July 3rd, 2013
A YOUNG PNG Pukpuks team is set to take on three strong sides in the 2013 Oceania Cup tournament which kicks off on Saturday.
Selectors have opted for a side that features only four veterans in captain Aaron Miai, Douglas Guise, Tisa Kautu and Adeck Naio plus experienced sevens players Albert Levi Jr and Henry Liliket.
The winner of the tournament will go on to play Fiji next year to qualify for the Rugby World Cup in 2015 in England.
Yesterday the little-known Tahitians arrived joining the Solomon Islands, who arrived on Monday.
The Cook Islands, perhaps the Pukpuks biggest threat, arrive tomorrow.
The men from the French territory will take on the Cook Islands on Saturday while the Monier Pukpuks take on the Solomon Island Hunters.
Tahiti coach Teiki Dubois said on arrival that they would be expecting a tough match against the Cook Islands.
“This would be our first time to compete in the Oceania Cup and we know that all the teams will put up a good challenge during the two-week tournament,” Dubois said.
He said the team had a few lead-up matches against New Caledonia and a local team The Barbarians in preparation. Captain Tunui Anania said that the team would play their best and hopefully get some wins with their inclusion of six players from France.
“PNG would be the team to beat knowing there are the defending champs,” Dubois added.
Tahiti will join the Solomon Islands and the Pukpuks at the Correctional Service Institute at Bomana before their match on Saturday at the Lloyd Robson Oval.
Oceania Cup Fixtures – Round 1:
Tahiti vs Cook Islands, 1pm PRL
PNG vs Solomon Islands, 3:15pm PRL