Monday, September 24, 2012

PNG go down fighting!

Source: Post Courier, September 24, 2012
By KEVIN TEME
PNG came close to shutting out the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII in Port Moresby yesterday.
The home side went down 24-18 to the Australian outfit in front of a capacity crowd at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby.
PNG showed more passion for the game but were let down by their goal kickers.
PNG fought back from an 18-4 first half score to level the scores before being edged in the dying minutes of the game.
The nation yesterday stood behind the PNG Prime Minister’s XIII.
Praise to Adrian Lam and his boys for an historic performance. The game should have gone either way had it not been for a poor kicking performance.
The Australians touched down early through centre Michael Jennings. Skipper Scott Prince converted for a 6-0.
Centre partner Chris Lawrence, scored another try just a few minutes after the kick off to lead 12-0; however, a never-say-die effort saw the hosts score through winger Mathew Puke. Half back Israel Eliab did not convert and PNG trailed 12-4.
The huge Australian forward pack laid a good foundation for their backs, in which New Zealand star and lock forward Feleti Mateo made a good offload for Martin Kennedy to cross over untouched. Prince nailed the conversion and the Aussies led 18-4 at the break.
The second half was all PNG, with five-eighth Dion Aiye stepping up in defence and good solid runs from prop Enoch Maki, Esau Siune, Rodney Pora and Larsen Marabe.
The local boys scored the first unconverted try through winger Albert Patak from a cross kick by Eliab and trailed 18-8 before second rower David Loko scored from a short grubber kick from Aiye. Eliab this time raised the flag and the host trailed the Australians 18-14.
Despite the big hits from the Australians, PNG stood firm; but it was a different story for the visitors - Mathew Ryan and Beau Ryan were hit hard and laid low before being taken out of the field from strong hits by the PNG boys.
PNG again went in for another try through center Richard Kambo, but Eliab did not convert and both sides were 18-18 all until the dying seconds when Prince placed a cross bomb on the 5th tackle.
Patak did not field the kick Australian winger Akuila Uate swooped on the ball to score.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said that he was very happy with the Kumuls performance yesterday.
He said that their performance on the field demonstrated that the young boys were now more than capable of winning in the future if they put more effort in their trainings and in the game. O’Neill said that the Government will now be committed to helping the PNG team in prepare for the World Cup.
The PM was a very happy man, watching the game all through congratulating the side and also thanking the Australian team for giving the Kumuls a good run in the game.
O’Neil was accompanied by Finance Minister James Marape, State Enterprise Minister Ben Micah, Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko, as well as the Australian High Commissioner, Ian Kemish and NCD Governor, Powes Parkop.

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