Caption: David Klemmer carries another fan on his back.
PNG suffer biggest loss in PM’s match
By FIDELIS SUKINA
HORDES of screaming, cheering fans ran onto the field to hug their heroes and collect mementos after the Australian PM’s XIII thrashed their PNG opponents at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday.
Fans tore off the Australian players, their boots, socks, jumpers and any other mementos they could lay their hands on.
The lopsided 58-0 score line did disappoint a lot of PNG fans, however, it did show that the standard of our game is nowhere near the Australians.
The NGCB PNG Prime Ministers XIII were on the end of a record breaking win by the Australian PMs XIII.
The loss is the biggest scoreline since the inception of the annual PM’s XXIII match in 2005. This score exceeds the 50-10 loss PNG suffered at the Kalabond Oval in Kokopo, in 2013.
Mal Meninga’s men were the toughest yet to come to PNG and the team that looked good on paper took it to a less experienced PNG team.
The NRL stars opened the flood gates four minutes into the game with the first 4 pointer to Josh Dugan, who scored on the sideline, a kick from Mitchell Moses led to a good catch from Blake Ferguson passing on to Duggan for the try a successful conversion by Mitchell Moses saw the score 6-0.
Four minutes later Ferguson crossed over for an easy try from an error by PNG PM’s XIII Ase Boas who dropped the ball and was easily passed on by the Australian PM’s XIII to Ferguson to score another with a conversion by Mitchel Moses saw them up by 12-0.
PNG PM’s XIII were up in defense at times with great tackles by Bradley Brawa and the like of David Loko, and some great running by Brandy Peter, but errors kept them down.
As the game progress both teams made errors, big hit ups and great running but Australia capitalized on PNG mistakes with Sammy Radradra scoring in the 23rd minute, the kick from the sideline was unsuccessful by Mitchell Moses leaving it 16-0.
Greg Inglis did his famous goana crawl after a try just before halftime to bring the score 22-0 at half time.
After the break it was obvious the Australians had the match with the depth in the team too much to contain by the PNG boys.
The second half saw Tyson Frizell, Josh Duggan, Greg Inglis, Blake Ferguson, Moses Mbye, Matt Moylen and Mitchell Moses score tries to end the match in a disappointment for PNG Fans with the 58-0 trashing of the home side.
But the disappointment was short lived for some as the NRL stars took to a lap of honor that led to a crowd invasion of the field at the end of the game.
A leaning crowd also took down a side rail and some fans even ran in and hugged and took turns in jumping on their idols, the NRL players had to be confused with some fans forcing to get the players gear (socks, shorts and shoes) David Klemmer was one of the Australian players who gave his gear and gave two fans a carry around the field.
PNG coach Michael Marum said it was a match that saw them being outclassed by a more professional side and it was a learning curve for the team.
“We had some good chances but we didn’t complete our sets but that’s something we have to learn from in our next game,” Marum said
His counterpart Mal Meninga said that the game was good with a spirited PNG side giving them a good contest and that was something they were after, he added that Marum did a good job and the future of rugby was in good hands.
“I disagree we had a great game and the PNG team was spirited against a World Class team and Marum has done well with his players, we come here for a purpose and that’s for a legitimate trial match for the Four Nations and the world cup next year with a lot of intent a couple of good stars the half back future of rugby league in PNG is in good hands,” Meninga said.