After the men and women’s teams both won bronze in their respective tournaments earlier in the week, coach Mark Brown combined the best of the two squads for the mixed division campaign.
With two wins and one loss in the pool play, the mixed team faced tournament favourites in host PNG in the semi finals.
Coach Brown opted to use his teenage lads and ladies for the game with a minimal senior player as guide.
The youngsters certainly revelled in the opportunity to showcase their own talents against a super fit and slick PNG side.
However PNG were in a one track mind to head to the gold medal playoff and ran rings around the Cooks who despite their best efforts, could only manage one try to PNG’s 12.
The Cooks then regrouped to face Tonga in the bronze medal playoff and with the chance to make it a triple coach, Brown put his best team on the field who did the job for the entire squad – and the nation – beating Tonga to win bronze.
The gold medal play off was an epic showdown between the cash strapped Samoa squad and favourites PNG.
In the end, with great support from their Cook Islands bronze medal cousins, Samoa went on to outsmart and out score PNG to win gold.
At the medal presentation, every player in the Cook Islands 28 touch rugby squad received a bronze medal, including the coaches and managers.
At the insistence of the Cooks adoring PNG fans, the men of the squad showed their gratitude for the awesome support by performing the same pe’e they showed at the opening ceremony.
With their medals inspiring the pe’e and egged on by the extremely vocal crowd – the touch lads let rip with their spine tingling pe’e that sent the large crowd into wild celebrations.
The touch rugby team now have three days to recover in PNG before the journey home to deliver three bronze medals for their family, friends and the entire nation.