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The PNG based Presidents XIII has recorded a thin 24 ? 22 victory over the visiting Junior Kangaroos in the second match at Lloyd Robson Oval. The Australian based PNG Presidents XIII lost to the Junior Kangaroos 22 ? 18 in Darwin on Wednesday, with the short time the side had spent together meaning the difference between the two sides, with the Junior Kangaroos coming off a two match series against the New Zealanders.
The Kangaroos drew first blood in the match in Port Moresby, when Nick Parfitt collected a high ball from hooker Steve Goodhew to score despite the attention of PNG defenders. Parfitt successfully converted for the Junior Kangaroos to lead 6-0.
They struck again when right wing Ben Creagh crossed over the line and with Parfitt?s conversion, moved away to 12-0.
The President?s 13 finally found the right combination when fullback Manzie Yere barged his way over the visitors tryline, to post their first point on the score board. The conversion attempt by Stanley Hondina was off target, leaving the score at 12-4.
The Australians kept up their attack, which led to the local team?s defence crumbling, allowing the visitors? substitute Michael Ennis over the tryline. Conversion by Parfitt pushed them ahead, 18-4.
The President?s 13 looked a bit disorganised at some stages when the Australian stepped up their defence. But that did not discourage the pack and through persistence, Vipers? imports and substitute Kawage Gagma broke through with help from teammates, narrowing the score to 8-18. Hondina added the extras for the score to stand at 10-18 until halftime.
When play resumed in the second half, it was a different ball game for the President?s 13. They kept applying pressure that saw the Australians defence crumble, allowing substitute Ricky Sibiya to race from the 50 metre line with support from Gagma to narrow the scoreline down to 14-18 with the unconverted try.
The Kangaroos added another four points through inside centre Lopini Paea for the score to stand at 22-14 with the unsuccessful conversion.
President?s 13 left winger Oscar Tonga, who had been knocking at the Australians tryline, finally got his break after a classic try by Sibiya was disallowed by Kuni for off-side play.
That was the wake-up call for President?s 13 as Tonga raced over the Junior Kangaroos to narrow the score down to 18-22.
The tide again turned the home teams way when Kuni sinbinned the visitors Richard Fa?aoso for back chatting and then sent Terry Campese off the field for a high tackle. Then with six minutes remaining Hondina himself crossed over the tryline to level the score at 22-all before taking on the penalty shot to seal of the game for the Presidents 13 side.