New Zealand 56 v 10 Papua New Guinea (Rugby League World Cup)
The Rugby League World Cup arrived at Headingley Carnegie Stadium this weekend when the All Blacks (New Zealand) entertained Papua New Guinea in their final Group B match.
The All Blacks started the evening by performing the world famous Haka which not only impressed the watch 18,000 crowd, it also left the watch Papua New Guinea players stunned. The current Rugby League World Cup holders New Zealand powered past Papua New Guinea 56-10 to march into the quarter finals.
The Kiwis looked dangerous from the start and tested the Papua New Guinea with only ninety seconds on the clock, when Bryson Goodwin went over the line for the first try of the match. A neat conversion by Shaun Johnson made it the perfect start for his side.
Struggling to withstand the Kiwi onslaught, the Kumuls found themselves pushed back onto their own line. Sensing an opportunity Foran sent a well-judged kick across the field for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to touchdown and another conversion by Johnson brought up a deserved 12-0 lead.
Moments later the Kiwis were in again, Dean Whare’s audacious pass between the legs gave Tuivasa-Sheck his second try of the match with Johnson once again adding the extras.
Intent to pile on the agony, New Zealand were relentless in attack. This time Foran’s clever offload enabled Sonny Bill Williams to open his account for the tournament, Johnson’s routine conversion giving his side a 24-point lead.
Just as Papua New Guinea began to find a foothold in the game, New Zealand scored again. A move that started with a powerful run from Manu Vatuvei eventually found Williams who crossed for his second try with Johnson converting to make it 30-0.
The Kiwis kept up the momentum and with just over 10 minutes of the half remaining, Williams turned provider for Frank-Paul Nu’uausala, who glided across the line.
With just seconds of the half remaining, New Zealand broke through again, Johnson’s meandering run scattering defenders to give Williams his hat-trick. The scrum-half made it 40-0 at the break with his conversion.
Determined not to go down with a whimper Papua New Guinea came out for the second half in determined mood. Jessie Joe Nandye drove through the Kiwi defence and found Dion Aiye who crossed for their first points of the game. Francis Paniu’s well struck conversion brought the biggest cheer of the night so far.
Fuelled with new found confidence the Kumuls poured forward, but their efforts came to nothing as New Zealand ruthlessly cut through their defence. A sweeping passing move enabled Whare to go over in the corner and Johnson restored the 40-point deficit with another successful conversion.
The New Zealand centre crossed again soon after with Johnson converting. Playing with ruthlessly efficiency, the Kiwis went further ahead when Alex Glenn did well to collect a bouncing ball and found Elijah Taylor, who scored their tenth try of the match.
With just minutes remaining Papua New Guinea had the final say when Wellington Albert crashed over for their second try, which once again brought wild cheering from the Headingley faithful.
New Zealand will be back at Headingley for the quarter-finals to play either Scotland or Italy.
New Zealand – Hoffman, Tuivasa-Sheck, Whare, Goodwin, Vatuvei, Foran, Johnson, Matulino, Luke, Bromwich, Glenn, Williams, Taylor (Subs) Moa, Kasiano, Nu’Uausala, Leuluai
Papua New Guinea – Mead, Abavu, Yere, Paniu, McDonald, Thompson, Aiye, Costigan, Wabo, Bruno, Nandye, Chan, Pandia (Subs) Albert, Aiton, Tali, Mexico
(New Zealand) – Goodwin (2), Tuivasa-Sheck (7,11), Williams (15,27,40), Nu’Uausala (30), Whare (50,56), Taylor (67) (Papua New Guinea) – Aiye (41), Albert (78)
(New Zealand) – Johnson (4,8,12,16,28,40,51,58) (Papua New Guinea) – Paniu (43)
Attendance – 18,180