Papua New Guinea have all-but set up a World Cup quarter-final date with England after continuing their unbeaten start to the World Cup with a 14-6 win over Ireland.
New Castleford signing Garry Lo was the star, scoring one of the Kumuls’ tries as well as a fine all-round effort elsewhere.
But they did not have it all their own way against a spirited Irish effort from Mark Aston’s troops. Leading 8-6 at half-time, PNG could not put the game away and it left the door open for an unlikely Irish victory.
Second-row forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook came within inches of becoming an Irish hero, knocking on over the goal line with 10 minutes to go. And that was punished when Watson Boas scored the game-winning try with two minutes left to kill off Irish efforts and leave them all-but out.
Ireland actually opened the scoring through hooker Michael McIlorum to lead 6-0 after five minutes, before PNG hit back courtesy of a thrilling Lo try.
At 6-4 the game was begging for someone to stand up and take it by the scruff of the neck and that man was Nene Macdonald who showed his class to finish off an excellent PNG play.
That made it 8-6 at the break, with no further points until Boas scored in the 78th minute.