BY SIMON KESLEP
They may be new to the rugby 7s format but they proved to be competitive, determined and skillful.
The motivation behind team Gerehu Natives successful campaign to reach the Capital Rugby Union Pacific Industries Invitational 7s Cup final is based on their work ethic.
The two-day tournament hosted last week at Bava Park gave opportunity to teams not only those regular 7s favourites but those debutants – Gerehu natives and Mt Hagen Tribesmen were the two teams sparkling up the scene with strong, physical and tough defensive play.
Gerehu Natives’ Dean Manale who also plays for the University Piggies premier team and a regular member of the PNG Pukpuks 7s team said he was happy to have played alongside his fellow street mates from Gerehu suburb.
“It is a good feeling to bring the boys this far (into the Cup final),” said Manale.
He said the players showed a lot of commitment and starting on day one they (players) really boosted his motivation to push forward to the extreme of reaching full game potential.
“I am really happy to bring them (players) into the final, this is more like marketing for them especially their raw talents,” said Manale.
The team itself consists of few regular CRU players residing at Gerehu suburb while the rest of the players usually take part in the off-season community competition like the Gerehu touch rugby. The skills of playing touch rugby was well converted into rugby but this time they had to apply physical contact and make adjustments with speed and footwork.
“I give credit back to my boys because without their efforts I would not be playing in the Cup final and most of them play in Gerehu touch while few of the young players play in U-19 division of CRU competition,” said Manale.