PNG take Commonwealth Gold

Papua New Guinea produced a shock to claim the Gold medal at the inaugural Rugby League Commonwealth Championships in Cumbernauld, near Glasgow, this weekend.

The junior Kumuls, who were physically dwarfed by the Australian youngsters they met in the final, nevertheless produced a display of verve and skill to triumph.

PNG beat the Australians, who were all drawn from the Sydney Roosters, 22-8 in the final of the Commonwealth Games-endorsed event, which also saw its fair share of shocks in the group stages.

Wales claimed bronze with a 20-8 win over surprise package Canada in the third-place play-off.

Wales also had the two top points scorers in the competition in their squad. Ben Jones scored 32 points, notching two tries and 12 conversions.

Former Ospreys rugby union man James Taylor was top try scorer, bagging seven, and was second highest points scorer in the tournament.

Canada also beat England‘s amateurs in the group stages, no mean achievement for a team of ice hockey, gridiron and rugby union converts, led by James Iodice of the Gold Coast Titans.

Scotland beat disappointing England to claim fifth, with their 14-4 win only the second time a Scotland team had ever beaten England in age-grade rugby league. The young Scots had also drawn with the mighty Australians in the group stages.

The event was part of the Homecoming Scotland series of cultural events taking place this year, and offers a promising glimpse of a vibrant Commonwealth Games future for our sport.

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