PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football Chairman Sandis Tsaka has today congratulated the Chairmans XV team and staff which took part in the Cabramatta 9’s tournament in Sydney over the weekend.
“I and everyone at the PNGRFL is very proud of our young boys and our staff who looked after them in Sydney. They went through their pool undefeated before going down in a very physical and close quarter final match 18-14. We intentionally sent a very young side with some as young as 18 years old so that we could further test them against bigger men in a tournament which featured 32 teams from Australia and internationally. The boys came up against NSW Cup and some fringe NRL players and was the perfect platform for us to asses them ahead of the Pacific Games later this year.”
The 9’s program is important to the PNGRFL, not just because of the Pacific Games in July this year but also as a long-term project for the PNGRFL said Tsaka;
“Giving our young boys experience is vital so we can see who stood up and who didn’t. These tournaments, plus national and international form of players will be the basis of who is eventually selected to represent PNG at the 9’s. It is expected to be a gold medal event for PNG so we have a responsibility to pick our best team possible from our pool of young players, Digicel Cup, Hunters and International players identified. The 9’s is a long-term project for us. We want to have a strong program and be at the forefront of the game to capture any opportunities that present themselves in future such as potential possible inclusion in the Auckland NRL 9’s or International tournaments.”
The tournament had a number of international teams take part including newcomers El Salvador (Pictured)
32 teams took part in the tournament with the likes of Papua New Guinea, Philippines, American Samoa, Malta, Chile, Niue, Thailand, Portugal, Cook Islands, Canada along with El Salvador featuring throughout the day.
The 2015 Cabramatta 9’s winners are:
Bowl Final winners: Blacktown Workers Red
Plate Final winners: Amerika Samoa
Trophy Final winners: Helensburgh Tigers
Cup Final winners and 2015 International Cabramatta 9s Champions: Cabramatta 1