PNG into next year's Four Nations - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

PNG into next year's Four Nations

PORT MORESBY 01/11/2009 09:31:59 PM Comments (0)

Papua New Guinea will take on Australia, New Zealand and England in next year's Four Nations rugby league tournament after winning the Pacific Cup final in Port Moresby on Sunday.

The hosts scored eight tries to defeat a young Cook Islands outfit 42-14 in front of a full house of over 10,000 at Lloyd Robson Oval.

Kumuls captain John Wilshere said reaching the Four Nations will inspire the people of Papua New Guinea.

"It means so much to all our boys and everyone here in this country," he said.

"Rugby league is our national sport, we love it."

The Kumuls dominated from the outset, racing into a 10-0 lead within 15 minutes through tries from Richard Kambo and Gold Coast Titans youngster David Mead.

The Cook Islands, who reached the final after surprise wins over Samoa and Fiji, hit back with scores from scrum half Daniel Fepuleai and Newcastle Knights winger Lulia Lulia.

But the hosts who had the ascendancy going into the half-time interval.

First Anton Kui raced over in the corner and Mead grabbed his second try after re-gathering a clever chip kick from Penrith Panthers halfback Keith Peters to make it 2010 at the break.

In the second half, with Jay Aston and crowd favourite Charlie Wabo directing traffic from dummy half, the Kumuls found holes in the Cook Islands defence across the field.

UK-based centre Menzie Yere grabbed two tries, while Mead posted his hat trick with a superb 70-metre sprint to the line.

Wilshere converted five of the eight tries, including two tough kicks from the touchline.

The Cooks had the last word as winger Dominic Peyroux grabbed a late consolation try, but the Papua New Guinea party was already in full swing.

"I thought our defence was outstanding today, and it has been for the last two weeks," said Kumuls coach Adrian Lam.

"There are a lot of young players in our side and we've certainly got a great balance between them and our older guys.

"I dont think it's really sunk in yet that we're in the Four Nations, but were excited about it, and well get our heads around it soon enough."

Cook Islands coach David Fairleigh said he hoped his side's Pacific Cup exploits would provide a boost to rugby league in the nation.

"No-one gave us a chance to do anything in this tournament, but what we've shown in the last two weeks hopefully gives the Cook Islands Rugby League something to build on," he said.

The Four Nations tournament, which is currently taking place in Europe, will be hosted by Australia next year.

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