Samoa is "fantastic" says PNG  silver medalist

About the author:

Tina Mata'afa-Tufele is a Pasifika journalist that has been writing and covering news related to the Samoan experience for over a decade. She's written for Samoa News in American Samoa, (covering news from Hawaii, the U.S.

  •  Team Captain Gahuna Silas (center) and teammates Rex Kaupa and John Ragi
    Team Captain Gahuna Silas (center) and teammates Rex Kaupa and John Ragi

Papua New Guinea's Rugby League 9s Team Captain and silver medallist Gahuna Silas says everything about Samoa is "really fantastic."

Silas led his team to the final in a tough match with Fiji who claimed the gold medal in Week 1 of the XVI Pacific Games.

After PNG got the rugby league 9s contest out of the way, Silas and his team were seen out and about in Apia over the weekend.

"In the tournament, we did good by winning all our pool games and we went to the finals. We played against Tonga and we beat them 14-nil. We went into the gold grand final but unfortunately it was not our day. Fiji beat us and we took out the silver. Yes, the Fijians," Silas told Newsline Samoa.

In their pool games, PNG beat Tonga 10-0 and against Samoa PNG won 10-4. PNG was able to beat Fiji 10-4 in the pool rounds. But Fiji came back to win the gold in the final.

They were done with their rugby league 9s games by Tuesday.

"We are just enjoying the city, going around looking at the places, the markets. We are enjoying the environment and the hospitality," said Silas at the Food Court in Fugalei.

"Everybody has been good like where ever we go people see us and they respect us. There is always a smiling face from the Samoans," he said.

"It is a good experience for us PNGs and it's like our first time here and we enjoy the environment and hospitality and everyone who lives here."

More than 400 athletes, not counting officials, traveled to Samoa for the Pacific Games.

Silas and his teammates departed Samoa on Sunday.  

"I am going to remember everything about Samoa, the place, the people, the environment, everything was really fantastic," he told Newsline.