PNG Palais to set new pathway in the 15s game

PORT MORESBY, 09 NOVEMBER 2018 (POST COURIER) – The Papua New Guinea Palais 15s have nothing to lose and only more to gain.

With a week to go before the opening clash of the 2018 Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship, the Palais have been doing the hard-yards to be game-ready for their championships opener against Samoa at Churchill Park, Lautoka in Fiji next Friday.

The national team which will include several from the PNG Palais Sevens team that is taking part in the Oceania Sevens this weekend in Fiji, will not only be playing a rare 15s international match, but they will play three in a round-robin format hosted by Oceania Rugby.

For women’s rugby especially at the 15s level, it is a positive in the right direction.

In 2016 the Palais played their first 15s international against Fiji and lost 37-10.

With all the political issues affecting the game, the progress of the 15s game for the women has dwindled, unlike the shortened version (7s) which has flourished with their recent participation in the World Cup in San Francisco.

Amidst all this, the PNGRFU interim executive have regained some lost ground with the regional body returning Rugby PNG’s status in the region and to show that PNG is ready to be a partner in the growth of the game, they put their hands up to take part in the Oceania Rugby Woman’s Championships set for next week.

With only two weeks to pick a team and prepare does not give newly appointed Palais 15s coach John Pangkatana much to work with.

“Despite the short-notice we can only think positive about what we can do to manage the players in the best way possible to be competitive.

“Yes, the odds are against us but we are not definitely going over there just to make up the numbers.”

He said with the view to educate and develop the players, the experienced gained on this tour especially for the younger ones will set the precedent for next year and beyond.

“It is a game changer for all stakeholders in the women’s game that we must all take note of.”

He further added that the team needs everyone’s support and by that he took advantage of the situation to call on interested persons or companies to come onboard to support their cause over the next three to four days before they travel.

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