RLWC: Kumuls chaos after thrilling win
PAPUA New Guinea have taken a massive step towards a Rugby League World Cup quarter-final spot with a 14-6 win over Ireland in an error-riddled match in Port Moresby on Sunday.
A 78th-minute try to halfback Watson Boas secured the Kumuls' second win in as many games and a likely quarter-final match-up with England.
In a match which produced well over 30 errors, it was appropriate the clinching score came from a mistake, as Boas toed through an errant pass and won the chase to ground the ball.
PNG winger Garry Lo's powerhouse runs and a potential try-saving tackle in the first half made him a big factor and a standout in the game. Both teams had enormous trouble hanging on to the ball but PNG always looked the more dangerous side.
The home team ran into a strong wind in the first half, and fell behind early, but should have had a much bigger lead at the break.
The game attracted the second successive sellout crowd in PNG, following last week's match between the Kumuls and Wales.
Ireland fullback Scott Grix scored the first four-pointer in the fifth minute after PNG captain David Mead failed to ground the ball in the in-goal area.
PNG got within two points through a strong run from Sheffield Eagles speedster Lo, who beat several defenders as he ran sideways and then straightened up.
St George Illawarra back Nene MacDonald gave the Kumuls an 8-6 lead when he stepped inside Liam Kay in the 26th minute.
The Kumuls made eight line breaks in the first half but butchered a number of try-scoring opportunities with through poor handling and options. Ireland missed 28 tackles in the first half and had to make 47 more tackles than the home team.
Lo had a 42nd-minute try ruled out after his knee touched the dead ball line. The Wolfhounds had plenty of territory early in the second half, but also had problems executing and PNG scrambled in defence.
With ten minutes remaining both teams squandered a great chance. Ireland's Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook knocked on over the line and seconds later at the other end PNG had a try scrubbed for a forward pass.