The Cook Islands Rugby Union says their victory in the Oceania Cup is a welcome shot in the arm for their prospects in the fifteen-a-side game.
The Cooks beat Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby at the weekend to complete their Oceania Cup campaign undefeated.
They now advance to a Rugby World Cup playoff match against Fiji next year.
The CEO of the Cook Islands Rugby Union, Ben Koteka, says the result is a credit to the hard work put in by the players and coaching staff on a limited budget.
"The last couple of years our focus has been the sevens and we don't quite have all the resources - eg the money - that's why we haven't attended since 2009. To be able to go back there and actually defeat PNG on their home soil, it's a fantastic result for us, also for the country too - over the moon. I can't say enough good things about the management, coaches, all the guys who've been able to round up everyone inside the family [to] just bring everyone together so we can put up a strong challenge in PNG."
Ben Koteka says hopefully the result will help attract more players who are eligible to want to play for the Cook Islands.