4 Feb 2015

Sport: Niue tipped as contenders for Pacific Games Nines title

3:09 pm on 4 February 2015

Niue are being tipped as a dark-horse to win the rugby league nines title at the Pacific Games, after impressing at the weekend.

Niue were the best placed Pacific nation at the annual Cabramatta tournament in Sydney, with their strongest team making it to the semi finals from 30 competitors.

The Rock upset an emerging Papua New Guinea team coached by Mal Meninga in the quarter finals and Tas Baitieri from the Rugby League International Federation expects they will be right in the mix in Port Moresby in July.

"Knocking off Papua New Guinea - who would be the favourites [at the Pacific Games] in Papua New Guinea - was a psychological big step, so Niue could probably feel themselves that they've done a good job at the weekend knocking off probably the favourites but also still have a long way to go because countries like Fiji, Tonga and Samoa [are] not going to lay down and let Niue roll over them at the Games in July anyway".

American Samoa finished ninth at Cabramatta to take out the Plate title, while Samoa, Fiji and Cook Islands were among the other Pacific nations taking part.