Wales 22 def. Papua New Guinea 8
- Match URL
- Sunday, November 12th, 2000
- David Pakieto
- Lowerhouse Lane (Widnes)
|Wales||Papua New Guinea|
|Tries||Lee Briers||John Wilshere|
|Goals||Iestyn Harris (5)||John Wilshere (2)|
|Fullback||1.||Paul Atcheson||1.||David Buko|
|Wing||2.||Paul Sterling||2.||John Wilshere|
|Centre||3.||Jason Critchley||3.||Eddie Aila|
|Centre||4.||Kris Tassell||4.||Alfred Songoro|
|Wing||5.||Anthony Sullivan||5.||Marcus Bai|
|Five-Eighth||6.||Iestyn Harris||6.||Stanley Gene|
|Halfback||7.||Lee Briers||7.||Adrian Lam|
|Front Row||8.||Anthony Farrell||8.||Raymond Kahl|
|Hooker||9.||Keiron Cunningham||9.||Mark Mom|
|Front Row||10.||Justin Morgan||10.||Michael Mondo|
|Second Row||11.||Mick Jenkins||11.||Duncan Na'awi|
|Second Row||12.||Paul Highton||12.||Bruce Mamando|
|Lock||13.||Dean Busby||13.||Tom O'Reilly|
|Bench||14.||Wes Davies||14.||Elias Paiyo|
|Bench||15.||Chris Morley||15.||Alex Krewanty|
|Bench||16.||John Devereux||16.||Andrew Norman|
|Bench||17.||Paul Moriarty||17.||Makali Aizue|
by IAN BRIDGE
The by now traditional pre-match World Cup deluge duly arrived and dulled a marvelous occasion at Widnes's compact Autoquest Stadium. It didn't deter a reasonable crowd turning up though, indeed after the rain relented, there was the rare sight of queues of late arrivals outside the gates.
There were also 2 million Papua New Guinea residents tuned into the game and they will have been disappointed with a first half showing that saw Wales leading by 20-2. However they will not have lost hope having seen their side make a stunning comeback against France on the opening day of this tournament to snatch a famous victory. Although they could not reach those heights today, PNG put up a good showing in the second half, when better finishing would have seen them mount a serious challenge to the Welsh.
As for Wales, well they have worked hard to earn a semi-final berth and now face the might of Australia, a dubious privilege indeed. It is an encounter that will test Welsh resolve to the full; and they will do well to emerge unbowed with this squad, which has been stretched to the limits in this competition. Unlike the PNG team, which can look forward to the consolation of a rousing reception when they arrive home, there is an uneasy feeling that this could be the swan song for the Welsh. Urgent, concerted and effective action is need from the rugby league authorities to revitalise the game in the valleys of Wales. Whispers from the enclaves of Red Hall do not bode well.
The omens looked bad for PNG right from the start, when fullback, David Buko, totally nonplussed at having to deal with a towering Lee Briers kick, was lucky to re gather his fumble on his own line.
Shortly afterwards Wales won a penalty on the PNG 20-metre line when the PNG defence went too high in the tackle. Harris converted to ensure Wales were rewarded for their early pressure and open up a 2-0 lead after 3 minutes.
Adrian Lam stepped, squirmed and finally burrowed his way into the heart of the Welsh defence before being grounded on the 10 metre mark. However his efforts earned his team a penalty, which John Wilshere easily converted to level the scores at 2-2 after 10 minutes.
There then followed a period of intense tackling with solid defence from both teams restricting any attacking progress and effective Good kick and chase games ensuring poor field position for the attacking side.
PNG looked to have a great chance to grab the lead when Raymond Karl made a superb 60 metre break up the middle of the field on 16 minutes, sadly he lost control of the ball on the Welsh 20 metre line as he looked to pass to the support.
However the defensive pressure finally took its toll on 21 minutes when Adrian Lam tried to force a pass out of the tackle only to see Wales' Jason Critchley step in front of the intended receiver to grab a smart interception. Critchley had sufficient pace and experience to score under the post from 38 metres out. Harris duly converted to push Wales into an 8-2 lead.
Wales then converted a period of sustained pressure into points to open up' a 14-2 gap after 26 minutes. Quick hands from Farrell and Harris gave Briers space out wide in the left centre channel. Briers dummy inside to Tassell stood-up the PNG defence and enable the halfback to step around the tackle to dive in at the corner. Harris landed a magnificent touchline conversion.
Wales completed the first half scoring on 38 minutes. From a play the ball on the PNG 10 metre line Cunningham, Harris, Briers and Critchley combined to create an overlap and send Davies scampering into the corner for a try. Harris again converted from the touchline to make it 20-2 at the break.
Although the PNG side had defended well, they had shown little of the attacking flair for which they are renowned. Whereas Wales dominated the first half possession, having around two-thirds of the ball and fully exploited it to build up a comfortable lead.
The second half started brightly for PNG and they began to create more chances, but their poor ball control deprived them of the points their approach play deserved.
First right winger, John Wilshere, was unlucky to have a fine effort ruled out by the video referee on 43 minutes, when Welsh fullback, Paul Aitcheson, forced him into touch on the corner flag. Then on 53 minutes Krewanty lost control as he crossed the Wales line.
Welsh substitute, John Devereaux, made his long awaited appearance from the bench on 60 minutes, only to be clattered by a high Stanley Gene tackle on his first possession. Harris converted the 22 metre penalty to edge Wales further in front at 22-2.
PNG were finally rewarded for their efforts when Naawi burst onto a Gene pass and managed to offload to the supporting Wilshere who raced over from 20 metres. Wilshere converted his own try to make it 22-8 after 68 minutes. And that was how it stayed until the final whistle.
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Contributions: Cymru RL
Last modified: Sat, 24 Oct 2020 19:25:39 +1100 (Sydney time)