Saturday, July 6, 2013
2013 FORU OCEANIA CUP: PUKPUKS BEAT SOLOMONS 29-22
THE Pukpuks (Crocodiles), PNG’s rugby team managed to beat their Melanesian brothers Solomon Islands Hunters 29-22 in the FORU (Oceania) Cup in Port Moresby on Saturday, July 6.
With about the same size in their forward and back packs, the Hunters kept the Pukpuks in their own half for the first 20 minutes of the first half despite the Pukpuks having the home-ground advantage.
Photo: PNG Pukpuks (right in gold, black and red) and Solomon Island Hunters ready for a line out in the match on Saturday, July 6, in Port Moresby. PNG won 29-22.
A lot of ball handling errors were made by the Pukpuks in the game, to the dismay of the locals cheering them on.
Led by their captain Corey Chapman, the Solomon Islanders made some good play in their front row.
However, on the 30th minute the ball was passed out to the far right side of the field after good play from the PNG forwards to find one of their speedsters racing off for the first try of the match.
The conversion kick was unsuccessful.
About four minutes later, the Pukpuks had the forwards pushing forward on the left side of the field and captain Aaron “Fraka” Miai made his way around the pack moving forward, a little to the right, and pushed a few smaller-sized Hunters out of his way to score the second try.
The conversion was again unsuccessful.
Just before halftime, the Hunters scored an unconverted try on the far left side when a small chip was collected by their winger who went over the line with the ball.
The halftime score was 10-5, in favour of PNG.
In the second half, both teams upped their play with PNG looking the more dominant side with tries coming from their speedsters Henry Liliket and Tisa Kautu.
Another of Pukpuk’s speedster Hubert Tseraha also stood out, with his fast pace in and out the holes of the Hunters’ defence to open up the game for the Pukpuks.
The score line could have been bigger where it not for ball-handling errors by the Pukpuks.
The biggest task for PNG is their match against Cook Islands on Saturday, July 13.
The Pukpuks’ second game would be against Tahiti on Tuesday, July 9.
(See updates of other games and pics in other posts today.)