By KEITH PUARIA
JKT Lim ‘Mamas Cordial’ Trans Highway Sevens organisers have hailed the tournament at the SCRUM Oval in Lae over the weekend a success.
Tournament director and Supporters Club Rugby Union Morobe development officer, Robin Tarere, said the tournament was a step in the right direction to raise the standard of the game, especially by involving teams from around the country.
“This has been a great opportunity to raise the standard of the game within the country.
“The participation of teams from Goroka, Mt Hagen, Madang and Kimbe has given the tournament much to see – the style of rugby and this is important for the standard of the game,” Tarere said.
The tournament, won by darkhorses Madgauns of Madang over national champions Kimbe Rebels, also witnessed the emergence of the young talent coming through from the junior ranks in Morobe, and the return and display of the new wave of Mt Hagen rugby union players.
Goroka made its presence felt with three teams, Harlequins, Silverbacks and Kilituais, who also established the strength of the game in Goroka.
SCRUM committee representative Anthony Whitfield who was present at the end of the finals on Sunday, said it was great to see different representations from around PNG.
“We are all about backing the growth of rugby and it is through this kind of success that we are happy to be there and intend to do a lot more,” Whitfield said.
“I love my rugby and I know you do too, so let us keep it going.”
The JKT Lim Sevens saw the initial field of 16 teams raised to 18 in the late stages with interest growing towards the start of the tournament.
Tarere and Organising committee chairman Naka Songake also extended their gratitude to major sponsors JKT Lim, support sponsors SCRUM and Seeto Kui, and participating teams and their sponsors.
Teams from this tournament will prepare for the next event on the sevens calendar, the Bougainville Black Orchid Sevens in Buka.
Newly-crowned Trans Highway sevens champions Madgauns and Unitech Reds have confirmed their participation, along with Rebels, who will be out to restore their dominance.