The Black Orchid Sevens was without doubt the biggest sevens tournament of its kind in Papua New Guinea; and the message of driving peace and harmony using rugby has seen it as one of the most highly regarded tournaments in the country.
However, what has become a disappointment to the roll out of the Black Orchid tournament is the lack of recognition to the governing body’s simple, yet key, obligation of sanctioning all provincial and regional rugby tournaments.
Sanctioning of events ensures that all rugby union tournaments and matches played in PNG are conducted in a safe and professional manner; and comply with the respective World Rugby laws of the game and regulations alongside PNGRFU requirements.
All rugby union events, tournaments and matches conducted outside regular approved competitions and/or other representative matches/programs must receive formal sanctioned approval from PNGRFU – all of which, the AROBRFU failed to comply with.
With the inclusion of a women’s tournament into this year’s edition of the Black Orchid Sevens it would have been a huge boost for the PNG Palais, who have in recent years struggled with forming a wider player base.
But as the union failed to ensure the tournament was sanctioned, questions now remain over player eligibility.
Both bodies have yet to comment further on the issue, but it does highlight that an obvious rift is starting to become apparent between the AROBRFU and PNGRFU.