Sports news in brief for November 23 – RNZ

Papua New Guinea players celebrate a try against Jamaica. Photo: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby
PNG qualifies for 7s series in Chile
Papua New Guinea men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams have qualified for the 2023 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Chile.
The Pukpuks and Palais’ promotion follows their successful campaign at the Oceania Rugby Sevens Challenge which was held over the weekend in Brisbane, Australia.
Palais were unbeaten throughout the tournament and finished on top.
Pukpuks surprisingly lost to Niue, 12-14 in the pool stage but managed to top pool B.
Both teams qualified to play in the finals against Samoa and Tonga but the matches were called off due to bad weather.
Palais surpassed Samoa on point’s differential and were announced women’s champions while the Pukpuks and Tonga were declared dual winners for the men’s Oceania challenge.
PNGRU president Paul Siwi said both national teams still had a long journey ahead of them in reaching the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2024.
“We still have a long way to go, we have just started and we will get there at our own timing,” Siwi said.
The winners in Chile will achieve core status on the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2024.
Naduva in Fiji Sevens squad
Fijian Sevens speedster Alasio Naduva has been included in the travelling Fiji Sevens squad for upcoming tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town.
After playing in a few local competitions, Naduva has pushed his way into the wider squad.
Fijian 7s head coach Ben Gollings said Naduva will provide backup in the positions with pace.
Gollings has retained his core players who have been competing at the top level since last year.
Six Silktails players off to Queensland to further careers
In rugby league, six players from the Fiji Kaiviti Silktails club are inching closer to their NRL dreams as they are move to Queensland to continue their careers.
The six players, which include captain Apakuki Tavodi and vice-captain Mosese Qionimacawa, have been offered contracts with the Ipswich Jets, which will be one of the NRL feeder clubs for the Sydney Roosters in 2023.
Silktails executive director Stephen Driscoll said for the six to get into the Jets squad proves the Silktails’ goal to provide a pathway for local Fijian players, as well as being a developmental side, is working.
This season the Silktails had their first NRL debutant in Pio Seci playing for the Manly Sea Eagles.
Chess on the rise in the region
An international boom in the popularity of chess has spread to the Pacific.
Chess tables have been popping up on several Island nations.
The International Chess Federation is noting the rise in popularity and has sent Grandmaster Nigel Short to the Pacific.
He played several players at the same time in Tonga and Fiji.
He said while the standard may not have been high, there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the game.
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