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Port Moresby
June 28, 2022

Jnr Pepes Confident ahead of World Youth Junior Championship Qualifiers

The PNG Under 21 Netball team, the Junior Pepe’s are quietly confident, on the eve  of their departure to the World Youth Junior Championship Qualifiers in Auckland, New Zealand.

With the inclusion of three senior international players Jeperth Tulapi in Goal Attack, Defender Serena Ovia and Courtney Abel, the team has a strong core.

Whilst the majority of the squad have had relatively little international experience, the coaching and management of the side believe that with the senior international experience of the players, there will be added stability. Head coach, Unaisi Rokoura, says that players like Mermaids Jeperth Tulapi, and Alotau’s Courtney Abel, lend valuable leadership qualities as well.

And this is something also backed up by assistant coach, Renagi Mulina.

Mulina a former international representative herself, sees the leadership group as being extremely valuable as the junior Pepe’s hope to qualify for the world cup.

Jeperth Tulapi, a high school student in Port Moresby’s Kila Kila Secondary school will provide a cutting and physical presence in attack for the Under 21 side, her prowess utilised during her domestic side’s win in the Snax Mermaids Grand Final loss against  Monier Paramana. Tulapi carrying that form into the Nations cup.

While for Courtney Abel, her vision in mid court will be tested against strong Pacific sides.

Serena Ovia’s height in defence and her quick movement will be very much needed against teams like Fiji and New Zealand. of the three senior representatives, Ovia has less experience than her counterparts.

From a team perspective however, the squad appears relaxed but anxious to get the job done. The team will depart on Friday for Auckland.




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