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The ARL Prime Minister's XIII have tonight held off a spirited fight back from the PNG Kumuls, to defeat them 30-18 at Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby today.
In front of over 10,000 fanatical rugby league supporters, the PM's XIII struggled to make inroads early in the match. Strong and physical Kumul's defense allowed the visitors only one try in the first half, through Ben Smith, and the PM's XIII side went to the break leading 4-0.
However the half time breather helped the PM's XIII, crossing the line twice in quick succession, early in the second half. Cronulla prop Luke Douglas' hard running was rewarded, and shortly after, a piece of Akuila Uate determination saw the PM's XIII score their third.
The Kumuls challenged the PM's XIII late in the game, through two tries to brutal backrower Nickson Kolo and one to Glenn Nami, however it wasn't to be, as the PM's XIII scored three late tries of their own. Chris Sandow and Willie Tonga both touched down for four-pointers, while Kade Snowden also scored under the posts nearing fulltime.
Both sides spent time thanking local volunteers and community groups who participate in the fight against HIV. Players also got amongst the community, raising awareness of these important issues.
The PNG side will be looking to take their bruising defence, and build on their performance in next month's Four Nations Tournament. PM's XIII Captain, Corey Parker, believes the Kumuls should not be taken lightly, especially if they bring their "outstanding" defence from early in the game.
Players from the PM's XIII side, however, were using the game to push for further representative honours, with all players eligible to be selected for Australia in the Four Nations.
ARL Prime Ministers XIII 30
Tries: Ben Smith, Akuila Uate, Chris Sandow, Willie Tonga, Kade Snowden, Luke Douglas
Goals: Corey Parker 2, James Maloney
PNG Kumuls 18
Tries: Nickson Kolo 2, Glenn Nami
Goals: Ryan Tongia 3