PNG fullback Stargroth Amean touched down twice as the Kumuls defeated an eager Cook Islands 30-22 today at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Kumuls opened the scoring when Justin Olam produced a smart flick pass to Adex Wera who crossed for the game’s first try.
Jono Ford could have equalised but spilled the ball when trying to score and the Kumuls moved further ahead when hooker Wartovo Puara Jnr forced his way over the line from close range.
The Cooks responded when Geoff Daniela scored after a break by Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and they levelled the scores just before half-time when Uiti Baker charged onto a no-look pass from Kobe Tararo to make it 12-all at the break.
Early in the second half Stargroth Amean shot through on the left edge for the Kumuls to take the lead again, but the Cooks responded when former Wakefield star Isaac John found Daniela with a chip kick, before the winger kicked ahead and touched down to close the gap to two points.
But when Amean crashed over the lead was eight points again and the Kumuls moved further ahead when when Nixon Put scored his team’s fifth try of the afternoon.
The Cook Islands responded when Esan Marsters scored the final try of the game.
COOK ISLANDS: 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2 Geoffrey Daniela, 3 Esan Nike Marsters, 20 Marata Niukore, 5 Reubenn Rennie, 14 Jono Ford, 7 Isaac John, 16 Carne Doyle-Manga, 9 Aaron Teroi, 10 Uiti Baker, 11 Alexander Glenn, 12 Makahesi Makatoa, 13 David Munro, 8 Reuben Porter, 15 Moses Mcgreal, 18 Kobe Tararo, 19 Sam Mataora
Tries: Daniela 2, Baker, Marsters
Goals: John 3
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: 1 Stargroth Amean, 2 Justin Olam, 3 Thompson Teteh, 4 Adex Were, 5 Richard Pandia, 6 Watson Boas, 7 Ase Boas, 8 Henry Noki, 9 Wartovo Puara Jnr, 10 Luke Page, 11 Rod Griffin, 12 Rhys Martin, 13 Stanton Albert, 14 Tommy Butterfied, 15 Israel Eliab, 16 Wellington Albert, 17 Nixon Put
Tries: Amean 2, Wera, Puara Jnr, Put
Goals: Boas 5
Monday’s League Express will have full coverage of all the weekend’s Pacific Test matches