SABETO Roosters coach Voate Naravu says that apart from winning the inaugural Melanesian Cup Championship on Saturday, he is hoping that some of his players will be scouted by Digicel Cup sides.
The Roosters are Fiji’s rugby league club champions and earned the right to play Digicel Cup winners the Agmark Gurias at the Sir John Guise Stadium, Port Moresby after beating the Nabua Broncos 17-6 in the Vodafone Cup last month.
“I gave only two missions to my boys. They are here to win the game and for the PNGRFL to scout some of them for possible places with clubs in PNG and even Australia,” Naravu said.
Fijians playing in the Digicel Cup is not unprecedented, with the Lae Tigers and the Gulf Isapea having recruited players in past seasons.
Petero Sanivalu (Tigers) as well as trio Jone Uneune, Netara Rarokoliwa and Semi Wainikolo (Isapea) played in the 2013 season.
“PNG has a very strong rugby league competition so we have to perform and we hope that our players get noticed as the standard here is much higher,” Naravu said.
Naravu, upon arrival at Jacksons International Airport yesterday, thanked the God for His protection when they departed Fiji and arrived safely in the national capital before answering questions from the press.
The Roosters were greeted in a low key reception but remain an unknown quantity for the Gurias, who won their title with a 28-16 win over the Simbu Lions on September 26.
This is the first such meeting of champions from both countries and a large crowd of 10,000 plus is expected at the match.
With the Kumuls having no international fixtures at this time of the year and the Queensland Cup, National Rugby League and Prime Minister’s XIII matches all wrapped up, the country’s focus will be firmly on the Saturday night encounter.
Naravu said his side had prepared well to take on the Gurias, who fly in to town tomorrow, and was confident the game would be an entertaining clash between two evenly-matched sides.
The side from Sabeto Village, Nadi, are based at the Gateway Hotel, 7-Mile and had their first training session at the Sir John Guise Stadium yesterday afternoon.
The side is led by veteran Momolevu Nakisebeto, who is also the chief of Sabeto.
“It is the first time for all the players in the team to come out of country to compete in an international level.
“We had one player have a taste of international football when he was picked to represent the Fiji residents last year but other than that the rest are new to this level.”
The Fiji side will be banking on top players like Tevita Niusama and veterans Semisi Qoro, Viliame Rakuli and Roger Qoro.
Naravu thanked the PNG Rugby Football League for hosting this Melanesian Club Championship in Port Moresby and allowing them to participate. The National
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36