Rugby Union BY SIMON KESLEP The road towards success in any sporting career is playing together as a team. One of PNG Pukpuks rugby 7s try finisher Patrick Tatut Jr, 26, of mix parentage of Manus, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Gulf province believes in team effort. He started his rugby career in Madang playing in the 15s rugby format but then his interest branched out to rugby 7s. He played for his local club 6B Pirates and was later selected to play for the Madgauns (Madang rugby 7s team). Young Tatut Jr made his PNG Pukpuks 7s debut in 2016 during the Oceania 7s in Fiji. He has been with the team for two years and it means a lot to him. “We, boys train hard ourselves because we really want to qualify into the world rugby series circuit,” said Tatut Jr. With the other bulk of experienced players in the Pukpuks team, Tatut believes that there is still a lot of room for improvements even though players might think they have improved in their game. “This game of rugby union 7s is a game that involves more room for improvement even though you think you have improved because all games will not be the same,” he said. “Every player, we are playing together with always has the dream to wear the national colours so for me, I am very happy and honoured to wear this national jersey and play.” According to the HSBC World rugby 7s series 2018 statistics, young Tatut has played eight matches, scored two tries while at the All Time Sevens series statistics he has played 18 matches with only one yellow card against his game-performance.
Papua New Guinea’s Steven Kari successfully defended his Commonwealth Games title in the men’s 94 kilograms weightlifting event after breaking the 17-year-old clean and jerk Commonwealth record here today at Gold Coast 2018. He was trailing Canada’s Boady Santavy by 13kg with two attempts remaining in the clean and jerk but incredibly managed to lift 216kg to claim victory with a total of 370kg. It smashed the previous Commonwealth record, set by Australia’s Alexan Karapetyan in November 2001, by 6kg. Victory for Kari also secured Papua New Guinea a first gold medal of Gold Coast 2018. Santavy had to settle for the silver medal with a total of 369kg. The 20-year-old managed 168kg in the snatch, breaking Karapetyan’s Commonwealth Games record of 167kg set at Manchester 2002. He then finished on 201kg in the clean and jerk after failing with his last attempt at 206kg. Santavy is currently facing criminal charges related to a hit and run back home but Commonwealth Games Canada President Rick Powers said he was eligible to compete because he has not been convicted of a crime. According to a news release from Sarnia police dated March 19, Santavy was charged with failing to remain at the scene of collision after turning himself in. He was released on a promise to appear in court, The Canadian Press reports. Completing the men’s 94kg podium was India’s Vikas Thakur, who finished with a total of 351kg. He managed 159kg in the snatch and 192kg in the clean and jerk. Samoa’s Siaosi Leuo ranked third in the snatch with 156kg but bombed out in the clean and jerk after failing with all three of his attempts at 200kg.
The Credit Corporation Limited yesterday announced to extend its sponsorship with the Sparrows netball club for another season at a short presentation at the Rita Flynn courts in Port Moresby. A presentation of K25,000 was made by the Credit Corporation general manager Andy Roberts to the executives of Sparrows netball club. Mr Roberts said he was happy with Sparrows’ vision on junior development and was only too happy to extend the sponsorship for another year. The Sparrows netball club president Lawrence Lahari thanked the firm for its continued investment in the club. “This is the third year we have been sponsored by Credit Corporation with our club being the best performed club having seven of our nine teams in the grand final. “The club will be fielding teams in all divisions starting from under 10s to the premier division. “Over 100 Sparrows’ players will be registered in the Port Moresby netball association,” said Mr Lahari. He also congratulated the new Port Moresby netball association executives headed by president Linda Ligo, senior vice-president Toka Aua and Junior vice-president Lua Rikis
RUGBY LEAGUE By Benny Geteng Reigning premiers Lae Snax Tigers have secured another close win by overcoming Agmark Rabaul Gurias on home soil 10 – 4 in Lae on Sunday. Witnessed by a bumper crowd, the Tigers were struggling for ground in the first half and eventually in the 13th minute Gurias winger William Aquila went in to draw first blood. The conversion was however unsuccessful and the determined Gurias led at 4-0. A penalty was then awarded to the Tigers in the 18th minute and Tigers were able to secure the 2 points to trail Gurias 4-2 at the break. Coming back for the second half, the game grew tense with both sides showing enthusiasm in their defence. Star player of the day for Tigers, fullback Joe Joshua succeeded in scoring a try in the 61st minute to level the scores at 6-6 after a failed conversion attempt. The remaining minutes of the game saw both teams struggling to gain composure when Joshua through a clean step in the Gurias defence in the 20m mark, slid through the Gurias forward pack and sealed the win in favour of the Tigers. An elated Tigers coach Stanley Tepend said Gurias had shown class in the match and luck struck for them when Joshua made an impact with two tries to seal the win. “It is a good feeling to win the match at home soil and we are taking each game as it comes,” Tepend said. “We will at least try to stick to the similar game plan executed today (Sunday) and focus on next week’s game against Isou.” Tepend did not rule out the possibility of Gulf Isou as they have shown a team to be reckoned with and his side prepares to embrace once again in Lae come Sunday.
Rugby League BY KEVIN TEME Raising his hands to take charge of the PNG Women’s National rugby league team known as the PNG Oil Search Orchids is certainly a great challenge for current coach David Westley. Westley certainly fills a big shoe knowing very well that Orchids are new on the block in the rugby league world and not so often many follow women’s rugby league especially in a male dominated society like PNG. Similarly not so many would like being seeing involving with a women’s rugby league team but few people have coped with criticisms and have endured challenges over time. Such can be said of this former PNG Kumuls blockbusting prop Westley and his fellow male staff in the current PNG Oil Search Orchid team. Westley who is a former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000 said: “It’s been a great experience coming into the PNG Kumuls (men’s national team) coaching staff two years ago and with Michael Marum as coach I am really grateful for the opportunity given to me. “And linking up again with the likes of Marcus Bai, Stanley Tepend and Johnny Wilshere and few others, I think we did a really good job and they are still doing well today,” Westley said during a training session with the Orchids’ team at the NFS oval two yesterday. Westley, a player in the Canberra Raiders team in 1994 that won the Winfield Cup said after working in developing players and doing coaching courses he saw the need to help in the women’s game. “ Last year, I did development programs and was doing coaching courses and saw that the women’s game really need a little bit of help so I put my hand up to help,” Westley said. While criticisms are always being an absolute part of PNG’s common trail involving rugby league teams, Westley’s involvement with the PNG Orchid come with a big sacrifice and he is certainly confident that the culture of the team now can make a difference in the game against the visiting Australian Jillaroos. Westley has maintained the bulk of the team that played in the Brisbane in their recent tour, he confirmed that three new players have been included into the side – Betty Kawak, Lilah Malabag and Elmah Turpa. “ Women’s rugby league in Australia is really growing and for us, the challenge is actually at the grassroots level starting that junior system for both genders going up and no doubt our women who have great talents and are quick learners can certainly be at the top of the World,” he said. Westley said that can only happen if more support in terms of sponsors come on board for the women’s league so they can do all programs at the grassroots level up. “At the moment we must get everyone’s respect and we are positive on that. “Like I always talk positive when talking to my girls something negative is not good for the team. For the team, it’s been very high in spirit, that’s something we wanted and they will play for each other come this weekend against the Jillaroos,” a confident Westley said.
Rugby Union BY FRANKIY KAPIN Members of the South Pacific International Container Terminal Incorporation PNG Palais 7s side undertook the challenge to be role models and impart basic skills to more than 200 girls in Lae yesterday. Four young and promising talents in the PNG Palais to the Samoa Pacific Games, including powerhouse Fatima Rama, Gwen Pokana, Marie Biyama, led by Taiva Lavai as their spokesperson assisted by Henriella Vilosi the team’s physio are in Lae on a two-day upskilling camp for young girls in the surrounding communities of the Lae Tidal basin including the traditional landowners. Speaking on behalf of the Palais, Lavai said it was their first outing in Lae to give back to the community through the major backing of ICTSI who are also Palais major sponsor and the interest from participants depicts there is talent out there. Taiva said the participants in the development program had shown interest and for most them it is their first time to take part in rugby union. She said not only it was the Palais first time in Lae but it was also the first time for the participating young primary school girls to engage with the Palais in the development program. “We hope one day these (girls) can become like us,” Lavai said. Lavai said apart from the backing of ICTSI they have been able to come out and impart sporting drills and contribute to the wide interest of rugby union throughout PNG. George Gware, the general manager of South Pacific International Container Terminal Limited said instead of the girls (Palais) just focusing in Port Moresby, ICTSI is bringing them out as ambassadors of the code’s development countrywide. “This is the first and it’s not the last and we hope to do more of this in the coming years. As well we hope that this will be the pathway to scout talents outside Port Moresby to wear the Palais jersey,” Gware said. The five-member Palais team return to Port Moresby tomorrow after sessions with primary school girls from the Labu villages, Ahi villages surrounding Lae city as well hosting Amba and St Martin Primary School students. And leading up to the Pacific Games, Lavai confirmed that the final select Palais team has been named as well the pooling of the Palais against other nations. “Palais lead-up preparations for the Pacific Games is ok,” she said. Lavai said she believes that the Palais are in a better pool putting their hand up as a medal contender. The Palais are pooled against Fiji, Nauru and Solomon Islands.
Pro-Boxing BY KILA NAO Team Flash led by champion Muay Thai fighter Lee Garap will be stepping into the ring for the professional boxing title fight that will be held in Port Moresby on October 27. There will be four international fights including three boxers from Thailand, New Zealand Pakistan and six Thai title fights. Garap will be fighting against Saenpoom Phasung from Thailand in the 66kg division which is his fifth fight on the card. He has already won two professional boxing bouts, lost one and drawn one and is confident of a win on home soil in the four by three-minute round fight. “I have been training over the last few months for this very important bout just to test my abilities and also to determine my ranking in pro boxing. “I have already tasted how it feels like fighting in the ring so I have to stay focus and throw the right punches,” Garap said. The rest of Team Flash for the Thai title fights are Martin Mike against Simon Aki (Lae), Peter Yu against Mark Sai (Wewak), Alex Waragot against Bata Kai (Mendi), Innocent Dimots against Marist Terry (Southern Highlands) and Jeffery Daga against Nelson Samson (Wabag). The other 20 boxers that will be competing in the under-card bouts will come from Hela Province, Wabag (Enga), Jiwaka, Mt Hagen (Western Highlands), Simbu, Goroka (Eastern Highlands), Wewak (East Sepik), Morobe and Kimbe in West New Britain.
By KEVIN TEME Petroleum Resource Kutubu (PRK) sponsored Mendi Muruks has appointed Andrew Andiki as the head coach for this year’s Digicel Cup challenge. Andiki is the current head coach of the Kroton Hela Wigmen but decided to change ship when he saw the Muruks coaching position being advertised. The Hela man is now being replaced by his assistant Charlie Wabo as the head coach for the Wigmen while sources inside the last year’s runner up team in the Digicel Cup confirmed that Benjamin Hetra will be Wabo’s assistant while Noel Zemming, the former SP Hunters captain is the head trainer. For Andiki he says he has no regrets after he felt what he needed to do with his coaching experience to instill some lost pride in the Southern Highlands franchise. Muruks franchise manager Erick Alom in an earlier interview said the Muruks will be going into camp once the new coach is announced, something Andiki wants to see early as possible to prepare his troops for the big challenge ahead for the 2020 Digicel Cup competition. Alom said there were seven local coaches mostly from the Highlands who applied for the top job in the Muruks in which Andiki got the nod ahead from the six. Andiki who was a former player of Muruks will do everything to instill some lost pride for the Southern Highlands franchise. Prior to the official announcement, Andiki said he is looking forward to leading the Muruks this year. Recenlty Andiki has completed his ARL level two coaching certificate and harmed with this, he is hoping for another good season with the Muruks this year. Andiki has also proved critics wrong when he led Wigmen into the grand final last year only to be humbled by the reigning champion Snax Lae Tigers however this time around, he is confident Muruks can bring those lost memories by being one of the top teams for this year. It is believed Andiki will take with him some of his best talents in the Wigmen camp as well as some promising players that he had already set eyes on.
ATHLETICS: Athletics PNG has issued its selection policy for the Tokyo Olympic Games, seeking to explain clearly how its athlete (s) will be selected. The process has changed somewhat from previous Olympic Games where Athletics has always enjoyed a minimum quota of two athletes (one male and one female) under the Universality Rule. Now there is only one Universality place available in Athletics, which can be either a male or female. However if for example a female athlete qualifies either by achieving an automatic qualifying time/ distance, or by securing a place though the new world ranking system then we will still have a Universality place for a male athlete.” How it will work this time is that if no one qualifies by right to enter the Games we can select one athlete,” Athletics PNG president Tony Green said. “This will be done by reference to world ranking and we will nominate to the PNG Olympic Committee the athlete with the highest overall world ranking. “If that athlete happens to be a field event athlete then they would still need to be approved by World Athletics” Under the Universality rules, entries are only accepted automatically for sprints, middle distance and hurdle events. For long distance events and field event athletes World Athletics would consider the performance standard of the athlete and will only accept those who will be reasonably competitive. Qualifying automatically is getting more and more difficult and the women’s 100m mark is now 11.15secs, compared to 11.32 secs for Rio 2016 and 11.38 for London 2012. Toea’s Wisil’s best ever performance is 11.29 secs which she has achieved on two occasions – once in 2016 and again in 2017. However World Athletics have allocated a total of 56 places for the 100m so if for arguments sake 30 athletes run 11.15 or better and a handful of places are allocated to Universality athletes then that could mean say 20 athletes securing a place through the World Ranking. Rellie Kaputin, who had an outstanding Oceania Championships in June last year and looked capable of qualifying, will miss the big competitions in Australia next month and in March as a result of the injury she sustained in August, and now faces an uphill battle to get back to her best in the time available. Toea Wisil will attend a series of meets in Australia and New Zealand over the next few weeks before heading to Nanjing , China for the World indoor Championships where she will run the 60m dash.
Rugby League Israel Folau, Tevita Pangai Junior, Anthony Milford and Josh Papalii are among the league superstars that will be forced to make a choice between state and country due to a change in international eligibility laws that will have huge ramifications for next year’s Rugby League World Cup. The International Rugby League has introduced changes to qualification rules that will prevent players from representing at NSW or Queensland at State of Origin level and playing for a country other than Australia in Tests. The Herald has obtained a copy of the new eligibility criteria document, which states, in part: “A Player who has elected to represent a Nation cannot then elect to play for another Nation in the same calendar year.” That means that dual-eligible players including Milford, Folau, Pangai Junior, Papalii, Kotoni Staggs, Jaydn Su’a, Manase Fainu and Waqa Blake will have to choose between making themselves available for Origin or a Pacific nation ahead of the 2020 World Cup. The issue comes into sharp focus amid renewed hopes there could be some Tests played at the end of this NRL season if it successfully resumes from May 28. Under the previous rules, a player such as Broncos star Milford – who has Samoan and Australian heritage – could have represented the Maroons, Australia and Samoa all in the one season. The idea was to bolster the talent available for emerging league countries including Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea if players missed out on Kangaroo or Kiwi call-ups. However, there will be less flexibility to move from now on in a bid to bring greater integrity to the international game. “This is not about player payments, this is about giving people the opportunity to represent the area of their heritage,” said the RLIF’s southern hemisphere general manager Jeremy Edwards. “It’s a chance for the player to make a decision and for the fans to understand it as well. “It has been confusing (in the past).” Tongan officials have been in contact with cross-code star Folau – currently playing for French club Catalans in the Super League – in a bid to get him to commit to the nation. The former Wallaby had represented Queensland and Australia in his previous stint in rugby league. The rules also govern junior international matches, meaning young guns including teen Rabbitohs fullback Joseph Suaalii will need to make a call between NSW and Samoa. Last year’s World Cup 9s was hit by several eligibility dramas, resulting in Lebanon being stripped of one of its wins. Under the new rules, there will be serious ramifications if a player breaches the new qualification criteria. Players can be fined up to £10,000 ($18,000), teams will be stripped of points and the offender will be banned until eligibility can be established. RLIF chairman Greg Barclay said it was time for a more contemporary policy. “I didn’t want it blindly drafted out of Manchester, it’s got to work for the world game,” Barclay said. “We’re probably a bit guilty of being myopic or Euro-centric with certain things we have done, which is why things may not have worked for this part of the world. “It’s important we came up with something that works for everybody.” ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said Test football “is not off the table” for 2020, despite the coronavirus outbreak. It has raised hopes of internationals being staged at the end of the current season. “What we’re very keen to do is get across to all of the parties is an understanding that here is an international window,” Barclay said. “Once we’ve got that, we can start thinking about how we fill that. There is some good momentum around some of the countries and we don’t want to lose that. “In October-November, could we (play)? Possibly, fingers crossed.” – Sydney Morning Herald