Sunday, July 14, 2013


THE three-round of the FORU Oceania Cup tournament ended on Saturday (July 14) with Cook Islands beating PNG Pukpuks 39-31.
In the first game of the final round, Solomon Island Hunters edged Tahiti 23-22.

Photo: Solomon Island Hunters (in blue) trying to get the ball out of a Tahiti player. They beat the Polynesians 23-22.

Both teams who were winless up to the second round played hard but the Hunters managed to escape with a one point victory over the team from Polynesia.

Photo: PNG Pukpuks (gold and black) against the Cook Islands in a lineout. PNG lost to the islanders 39-31. 

In the second game between the leaders of the competition, Cook Islands again used their heavier forward pack to move PNG back in their maul charge and scrum.
PNG, despite the injuries reported, managed to score the first try in the 5th minute when the Pukpuks scrum half Dougie Guise got a loose ball and ran around the pack of forwards and dashed for the try line about 15m away with at least three Cooks’ players chasing him. (PNG 5 – Cooks 0)
Cook Islands got a penalty three minutes later and their Brisbane-based fly-half and kicker Greg Mullany made no mistake in getting the ball into the uprights for the three points.  (PNG 5 – Cooks 3)
Two minutes later the Pukpuks were awarded a penalty and the kicker was unsuccessful in getting the three points. The problem continued throughout the game for the Pukpuks kicker.
At the 20th minute, another remarkable try came from one of several speedsters in the PNG side when winger Henry Liliket pounced on a loose ball at the half way mark, found gaps in the Cooks line and sprinted all the way to their try-line under the uprights. The conversion was successful. (PNG 10 – Cooks 0)
The crowd went wild feeling that the game would be PNG’s, however 12 minutes later Cooks took the ball from a lineout a few metres from the Pukpuk’s try-line and sent a runner over for their first.
About three minutes later one of their fast backs beat the Pukpuks' backs on the far left hand side of the field. The PNG players for some reason were hesitant to grab him and he scored a try. The conversion was successful and the two teams went out for the recess 15-12, with the visiting islanders leading.

In the second half, the islanders continued to use their heavier forward pack to create problems for the PNG team.
Though both teams scored more tries, the lead set by the Cook Islanders before halftime gave them the advantage as the Pukpuks struggled to take over the game.
When the clock stopped, the Cook Islanders walked out the winners with a 39-31 score line.   

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