Oceania Rugby Cup

PNG, Solomon Islands still in contention for Oceania Rugby Cup

The Pukpuks only led by 5-3 at half-time, with replacement Emil Latumahina scoring the opening try minutes after coming onto the field to replace injured second five Tisa Kautu, but scored four more tries in the second spell, including in the final play of the match, to end up comfortable winners.

PNG captain Ahulo Ottio said they started slowly but eventually found their rhythm as the match wore on.

"We knew it was always going to be a grind with the bulk of the boys (in the Niue team) coming from New Zealand and Australia," he said.

Tannang and Halstead debut for Nauru against Solomon Islands

Nauru Coach Dominic Tabuna said that their first game against Papua New Guinea has provided them with a lot of experience and motivation for the tournament.

“When I think of all the nations here playing here, I would assume PNG would be the toughest to beat with the fact that this is their home ground and their own weather and their own crowd. It all adds up with the experience they have over us, which is immense,” Tabuna said.

Nauru upbeat despite debut rugby defeat

The Nauruans were thrashed 89-5 by hosts Papua New Guinea in the first round of the Oceania Rugby Cup on Friday, while Niue pipped Solomon Islands 19-17.

The newcomers spent most of the match defending their goal-line from wave after wave of PNG attack and head coach Dominic Tabuna said it was a huge learning experience for his players.

"We take a lot from the game, specifically our defence and our scrummaging," he said. "Of course at home we can't contest scrums because of the ground and the learning curve over the last few days has been huge.

Nauru names debut line-up for Oceania Rugby Cup

This will be the team’s first ever-international Rugby XVs Test Match.

The Dominic Tabuna-coached side will be led by Captain, Ivorab Damon Adeang and the Vice-Captain is Kris Menke.

The game kicks off at 3.30pm (local time) at the PNG National Football Stadium.

The team’s line-up:

Nauru to field all players in Oceania Rugby Cup

The team is making its international debut at the tournament at PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby.

Head Coach, Dominic Tabuna said they had a tough selection process for the tournament.

“Earlier this year our XV Rugby Season was played with eventual winners Meneng Crusaders winning the competition. Players were selected based on criteria stipulated by the NRU, over 40 players were selected and cut down to the final 26 players.”