by Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
While their build up has been positive, the national sevens team face a nearly impossible task by going up against Fiji in their first match in the 2015 Pacific Games.
Fiji will be entering as hot favourites, with the majority of the team comprising of players who have played on the World Series circuit.
They’ve recently attended a sevens tournament on the Aroma Coast and have been training under the high performance training centre’s regime and are looking sharp for the July Games, but whether they can disappoint the Fijians in round one of their pool matches is a question that can only be answered come games time.
Assistant Coach Douglas Guise has said numerous times in the team’s build up that the squad is more of a performance based team.
In 2011, the PNG Pukpuks then placed in Pool C, alongside New Caledonia, Niue and Tuvalu went undefeated in all pool matches, proceeding to the Quarter Finals against the Solomon Islands.
Thrashing Solomon Islands 40-5, the boys preceded onto the Semi’s against favourites Fiji, going down 24-19, before securing a win against Niue and settling for bronze.
This time around, the boys have it tougher, placed in Pool A with Fiji, Tahiti, Guam and the Solomon Islands.
Confidence has improved following the Pukpuks recent performance in Hong Kong, where they showed many signs of improvement.