A hat-trick from Justin Olam helped Papua New Guinea secure a quarter-final clash against England after they demolished USA 64-0 in Port Moresby.
The Kumuls were 34-0 to the good at half-time thanks to tries from Lachlan Lam (2), Justin Olam, James Segeyaro, Rod Griffin and Stargroth Amean.
Five further unanswered tries in the second half from David Mead, Watson Boas, Nene MacDonald and Olam (2) sealed a solid 64-0 victory for Papua New Guinea.
Michael Marum made five changes to his Papua New Guinea outfit that beat Ireland last week. Ase Boas, Stanton Albert, Willie Minoga, Wellington Albert and Enoch Maki were replaced by Lachlan Lam, Moses Meninga, Rod Griffin, Nixon Putt and Thompson Teteh.
Brian McDermott made three changes to his USA side that were defeated by Italy last time out. Joe Eichner, Steve Howard and Martwain Johnston came in for Matt Shipway, Fotukava Malu and Charles Cortalano.
Papua New Guinea got on top of USA from the word go. They scored the opener when hooker James Segeyaro made a break and assisted the supporting Lachlan Lam who scored. Rhyse Martin converted to put his side into a 6-0 lead.
The Kumuls were in again just minutes later as the ball went through quick hands for Justin Olam to score out wide. The conversion went wide but Papua New Guinea were 10-0 up.
USA were really struggling to deal with the pace and power of Papua New Guinea. Moses Meninga made a break and gave it to the supporting Segeyaro who raced over the line. Martin added the conversion and Papua New Guinea were 16-0 ahead.
The hosts scored their fourth try in just the 15th minute when Lam, son of Kumuls and Wigan Warriors legend Adrian Lam, sold USA a dummy to break through the line and step full-back Corey Makelim to score. Martin’s conversion made the score 22-0 to Papua New Guinea.
The Hawks managed to come into the game a little, by kicking a 40/20 as well as having repeat sets but it wasn’t long until the Kumuls scored again, this time through Rod Griffin as he stormed onto a short ball from Watson Boas. The conversion from Martin was on target, Papua New Guinea 28-0 USA.
Papua New Guinea wrapped up a dominant first half performance when Stargroth Amean found a gap in the USA defence to touch down. Martin’s conversion saw the Kumuls lead 34-0 at the interval.
HALF TIME: Papua New Guinea 34–0 USA.
It was the worst possible start to the second half for the Hawks. They completed their first set following the restart but David Mead collected the last tackle kick and darted 70-metres to go over. Martin added the conversion to put the Kumuls 40-0 in front.
Papua New Guinea scored their eighth try of the night when Amean made a sublime break and somehow managed to hold up and wait for support. He found that in Watson Boas who then scored. The conversion was on target and they led 46-0 after an hour.
Marum’s outfit reached the half century point just a few sets later when they had an overlap on the right edge. Nene MacDonald made the finish and the try look easy. Martin once again added the extras to make the score 52-0 to the home nation.
The Kumuls were playing some great to watch Rugby League. The ball went down the line to winger Olam who crashed his way through three USA defenders to impressively touch down in the corner. The conversion on point, Papua New Guinea 58-0 USA.
Olam scored the final try of the game as he completed his hat-trick. The blockbusting winger intercepted Junior Vaivai’s pass to run 80-metres and dive over. Martin added his 10th conversion to seal an emphatic 64-0 victory for the Kumuls as they prepare for a probable quarter-final against England.
FULL TIME: Papua New Guinea 64–0 USA.
Papua New Guinea – 64
Tries: Lam 2, Olam 3, Segeyaro, Griffin, Amean, Mead, W Boas, MacDonald
Goals: Martin 10/11
USA – 0
Loverugbyleague.com MOM: Lachlan Lam (Papua New Guinea)
Papua New Guinea: 1. David Mead (C), 2. Justin Olam, 3. Kato Ottio, 4. Nene MacDonald, 5. Garry Lo, 6. Lachlan Lam, 7. Watson Boas, 8. Moses Meninga, 9. James Segeyaro, 10. Luke Page, 11. Rhyse Martin, 18. Rod Griffin, 13. Paul Aiton.
Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste, 15. Stargroth Amean, 16. Nixon Putt, 17. Thompson Teteh.
USA: 1. Corey Makelim, 2. Ryan Burroughs, 3. Junior Vaivai, 17. Gabriel Farley, 5. Bureta Faraimo, 6. Kristian Freed, 7. Tui Samoa, 8. Eddy Pettybourne, 9. David Marando, 10. Mark Offerdahl, 11. Danny Howard, 12. Joe Eichner, 18. Steve Howard.
Interchange: 14. Sam Tochterman-Talbott, 16. Martwain Johnston, 20. David Ulch, 21. Josh Rice.
Referee – Adam Gee