Dennis Miall inspires PNG to golden triumph

Dennis Miall might not be a household name, yet, but he and his team have certainly given the rugby league-mad nation of Papua New Guinea something to cheer about.

His bunch of PNG U-19s are taking home the Gold medal from the weekend’s Rugby League Commonwealth Championships, after beating the mighty Australia in the final.

Held at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld, the 9s tournament was a test event for the Commonwealth Games, which start in Glasgow in July.

“Everything we’ve put into place to get here from the other side of the world has really paid off for us,” he said.

“The boys were confident. We were confident about the boys.

“We just wanted to do the right thing on the field, and that’s what they did, and thankfully we came out the winners.”

PNG had to dig deep to beat an impressive Welsh team in the semi-finals, 12-6. Miall admitted that the young Welshman offered a tougher test than he had anticipated.

“We thought Wales were not as strong as they were going to come, after the previous game we had watched,” the coach added.

“When they came against us they really had something extra.

“That was really a very, very tough game for us.”

Miall felt that the result would also serve as motivation for more players in PNG to try and excel and reach the international stage.

“It will be a very big bonus. It’s ging to drive a very big difference, especially with the age group the boys are in, the Under-19s.

“It’s going to be a very big drive for our other boys who have not come this far. It’s something very big for all of us – an inspirational achievement.

“The boys did what they’re supposed to do, they were tough, strong and quick, and it paid off.”

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