Rugby | SPORTS

PNG Kumuls Win Pacific Bowl Against Fiji

The Papua New Guinea Kumul’s delighted their home crowd and turned around their home crowd and turned around their fortunes following a poor performance last week to claim their inaugural
06 Nov 2023 16:34
PNG Kumuls Win Pacific Bowl Against Fiji
Fiji Bati rep Apisalome Saukuru (back to camera) against PNG Kumul in the inaugural men’s Pacific Bowl final won by the hosts 32-12 at the Santos National Football Stadium on November 5, 2023. Photo: NRL

The Papua New Guinea Kumul’s delighted their home crowd and turned around their home crowd and turned around their fortunes following a poor performance last week to claim their inaugural Pacific Bowl with a 32-12 win against Fiji at the Santos National Football stadium yesterday.

Embarrassed last week Sunday by the Bati in their 43-16 loss, the Kumulss came out with a new intensity in the final, which showed in their determined defence.

Wile the opening quarter of the match was a scrappy affair with both sides making error, the Kumuls were able to capitalise on the strong breeze at their backs to post a huge 26-0 lead at the halftime break.

Their first try came through livewire hooked Edwin Ipape who put in the type of of performance fans were hoping to see from his all-tournament after he was kept quiet last weekend

Fiji Bati rep Kitione Kautoga on the attack against PNG on November 5, 2023.

This week, he scored a try, made nine rus for 1012 metres with seven tackle breaks and also had a try assist. The next two tries were almost carbon copies to the left, with centre Zac Laybutt running the decoy for fullback Alex Johnson to find winger Robert Derby.

In the closing stages of the first half, Laybutt was helping to set up his teammates again, busting through tackles and making a break downfield before finding Johnson back on his inside who went under the posts to score.

Rhyse Martin kicked four from successful conversions in the first half to help his side to an imposing 26-0 lead.

The Bati had their chance to turn the tide in the second half, with Waqa Blake crossing for the first try after the break, but the left plenty of chances go begging, including Maika Sivo losing the ball over the line in what proved to be a key moment in the match.

The Kumuls defence- which was criticised last week- held strong, especially on their own goal line to help them claim the trophy.

 

Source: NRL.com



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