2015 Oceania Cup Kicks Off In Port Moresby

Oceania Rugby, Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:45AM

With all fours teams from American Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Papua New Guinea all assembled in Port Moresby, the 2015 Oceania Rugby Cup finally kick starts today (Saturday 22 August) at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Konedobu, with American Samoa taking on the Solomon Islands, and Host Nation Papua New Guinea to meet the Tahitians in the last game of the round.

Solomon Island’s Tight Head prop and Captain, Fredson Soakai is excited to be in Papua New Guinea and is quietly optimistic of his team’s chances in the Tournament “We are all excited as a team to finally be here, and look forward to really showing what we are capable of” says Soakai. “We are a proud team, and have trained hard for this tournament and would like to lift the Trophy for Solomon Islands for the first time”.

To do so, the Solomon Islands Hunters will have to first surpass the emerging American Samoans. The Talavalu will be making their first appearance at the Oceania Rugby Cup and are expected to provide a stern test for the Hunters in their first round clash. Led by burly flyhalf, Stuart Tuiletufuga, the American Samoans seem up to the task “Solomon Islands are a big team and will be tough, but our boys will be looking to really take them on up front and through the middle” said Tuiletufuga.

Last to arrive into Port Moresby, Tahiti are just as determined with skipper Ralph Teriitaohia declaring Tahiti’s intentions “We are here to compete and have very good players to do well in this Tournament. Tahiti are not here to make up the numbers and will surprise all the teams”. Teriitaohia are among a few players in the Tahiti squad who have played age grade Rugby in France and relish the chance to represent their country in their own region “ We are proud Tahitians no matter where we are, and playing for Tahiti is very special to me”.

Hosts Papua New Guinea will be looking to their home support to carry them through and are eager to reclaim the title after losing to the Cook Islands in 2013. “ Losing at home in the final against the Cook Islands at the last Tournament hasn’t been forgotten, and we don’t want to do this again in front of our home crowd” said Tisa Kautu, Captain of the Papua New Guinea Pukpuks. “If we play to our strengths and follow our planning for each team, we will be hard to beat on home soil, especially when we have people behind us” Kautu further adds.

2015 Oceania Rugby Cup, Round 1 – Sir Hubert Murray Stadium

1.00pm (PNG Time) American Samoa Talavalu vs Solomon Islands Hunters

3.30pm (PNG Time) Papua New Guinea vs Tahiti

Last updated: Monday September 28, 2015 9:19PM