Prime Minister’s XIII 54 PNG Kumuls 30
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII gave the Australians a scare before going down 54-30 at the Lloyd Robson oval in Port Moresby.
Australian Prime Minister’s XIII captain Nathan Hindmarsh admitted in a post-match interview that PNG gave them a bit of a scare:
“The boys really appreciated coming here and playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd, they never seen something like this before. The Kumuls certainly gave us a bit of a scare in the first half and I must congratulate them for their tireless effort. I wish the Kumuls all the best in their World Cup campaign.”
In probably his last representative season PNG skipper Stanley Gene encouraged his young troops to continue playing the flamboyant style of footy PNG was used to. Gene scored two tries and made some saving tackles which had the PNG supporters in raptures every time he had the ball or made a tackle.
“It was a very good effort by the boys this afternoon especially in the first half when we trailed them by four points at the break. Fourteen years ago I was at this ground playing the Inter City competition and I was lucky enough to go on and play in England.”
The visitors wasted no time in taking the lead when debutants Penrith Panthers’ Michael Jennings and St George Illawarra rookie Josh Morris opened the flood gates with two converted tries in the 4th and 10th minutes. The home side replied seven minutes later when 2007 rookie of the year Nixon Kolo stormed through a couple of lazy Australian defenders to score courtesy of a classic inside ball from half back Keith Peters two metres from the tryline.
At 12-6 it seemed PNG had the Australians under the radar but Canberra Raiders’ stalwart Chris Lawrence furthered their lead with an unconverted try in the 19th minute for a 16-6 lead. In the next 11 minutes the PNG supporters were treated to a double dose of tries when Gene got his first try (in the 21st minute) followed by Rodney Pora in the 30th minute to level the scores at 16 points apiece. With three minutes remaining North Queensland Cowboys enforcer Carl Webb took advantage of some tired PNG defence to score an easy try under the uprights for a 22-16 lead into the sheds.
The second half was a one sided affair when PNG lost the momentum and let the Australians run riot on the field. The Aussies ran in six tries via Nathan Hindmarsh (52nd mins), Robbie Farrah (54mins), Allan Tongue (62nd mins), Chirs Lawrence (70th mins) and Jarryd Hayne (two tries, 75th and 78 mins).
Before the raid Michael Mark had something to show off to the 10,000 plus crowd who packed every corner of Lloyd Robson oval with a flying corner try to close in on the lead at 22-20. Gene’s second try in the 67th minute was pure strength and courage when he ran off from the dummy and after shrugging off Hayne and Luke O’Donnell went on to score under the posts.
Following Hayne’s double dose two minutes before fulltime, Mt Hagen Eagles speedster and PNG debutant Ham Tee scored his first representative try in the corner to save face for his side.
AUSTRALIAN PM’s XIII 54 (Chris Lawrence 2, Jarryd Hayne 2, Nathan Hindmarsh, Robbie Farah, Michael Jennings, Joe Picker, Carl Webb, Josh Morris tries Scott Prince 6 Terry Campese goals)
PAPUA NEW GUINEA KUMULS 30 (Stanley Gene 2, Michael Mark, Nixon Kolo, Rodney Pora, Ham Tee tries Tuu Maori 3 goals) at Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby.