THERE was so much hype surrounding the build up of our PNG Pukpuks 7s team leading to the Wellington 7s that one could have believed we had a shot at improving our world ranking, let alone win a single game.
Let me enlighten those who are not fully versed with rugby union 7s.
It is a sport which involves a high level of skill, stamina, strength, mental toughness and endurance.
Nearly all players taking part in the IRB 7s circuit (professional rugby playing nations) are born 7s players; they are not thrown together just because they will look good in their country’s uniform.
As an observer and a diehard rugby fan, it was disappointing to watch, the “once the pride of PNG” go down like they did.
Yes, we have the former no.1 player in the world as coach, but do we have the best 7s players in the country to wear that once prized jersey, which has been cheapened by the year?
I am afraid the answer is, no.
In saying that, do we have selectors who travel to the different PNGRFU sanctioned 7s tournaments to scout the best?
What are the criteria in getting selected?
The coach is not saying anything.
There is an old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.
The primal instinct of rugby league made us the laughing stock of Wellington.
I doubt half the team knew why we were being penalised, when it was for the most basic rules of the game.
In my opinion, three quarters of the team do not deserve their spot.
I take my hat off to Monty Diave and Kojo Ware, you definitely shone in a side lacking faith, flair and the fighting pukpuk spirit, all the traits we are known for.
To my brothers in Kimbe, Buka, Rabaul, Lae and Goroka, don’t give up.
We know who you are and what you are capable of.
You will always be pukpuks in our eyes, even though you have never worn the national jumper.