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PNG Isa Wantoks win north-west Rugby 7s


Nuama Wan 7's team THE ISA WANTOKS recovered from a slow start to scorch the opposition and make it back to back 2011 Xstrata PICAM Rugby 7s titles at the weekend.

With temperatures pushing towards 40 degrees, the Papua New Guinea side, backed by a passionate and vocal fan base, proved too fast and too skilful to defeat a gallant Overlander Panthers team 39-14 to lift the PK Cup for the second year running.

Two blistering tries to player of the tournament Alex Ambia and young speedster Alex Ryan paved the way for the deserved victory.

After losing their opening two games on Friday evening the Wantoks' chances of defending their title looked to be on shaky ground.

"I think we underestimated how much the other teams wanted to knock us over," Wantoks captain/coach Neville Rainey said after his team's triumph.

"Those early games gave us a bit of a shock but I sat the boys down and we regrouped to beat Matariki in our final game on Friday night."

Rainey said the win against a tough and talented Matariki team buoyed the players spirits and they kicked on from there.

The cup final between the Isa Wantoks and the Overlander Panthers was a match-up that promised to showcase the best of sevens rugby with speed and ability on both sides.

It was Ambia who fired early for the Wantoks when he found open space and his electric pace did the rest to put the Wantoks ahead.

It was soon 12-nil when Matty Toby broke through the Panthers line and put the foot down.

When Ambia swooped on a loose ball inside his own 22-metres and set sail downfield to touchdown despite some desperate cover defence, the Panthers were in trouble.

After two seasons and with the tournament looking to get bigger and better, the Wantoks showed why they were still the only side to have held aloft the PK Cup.

Meanwhile, in the second annual Asia-Pacific Women's Sevens in Borneo, PNG defeated China 24-10 thanks to a hat-trick from Joanna Lagona. The win for PNG saw them claim their first APWS title after losing to Kazakhstan in last year's final.

Samoa, whose only defeat in the tournament was at the hands of PNG in yesterday's Cup semi final, beat Hong Kong 17-5 to take the bronze medal. Singapore edged Cook Islands 7-5 to claim the Plate.

The APWS is an innovative tournament that combines eight women's teams from the Asian Rugby Football Union and the Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions.

Photo: The Isa Wantoks' Johnny Ellis, Neville Rainey, Alex Ryan and Alex Ambia show who's number one. The four all starred as their side defended their Xstrata PICAM Rugby 7s title (Neil Ratley)

Source: The North-West Star, 26 September


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Nathan Turner

I would like to get in touch with anyone from the Isa Wantoks as I am involved with Rugby in PNG.

On the Gold Coast and we have tournaments that would be great for the lads to play in.

If someone wants to let me know how to contact a representative I will do so.

Try Gama Gamato at email [email protected] - KJ

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