Full Time
3:00pm Sun October 15, 2023
Pacific Championship - Pacific Bowl - Santos National Football Stadium, Port Moresby / PNG

Match Overview

PNG won 46-10 against Cook Islands at Santos National Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Papua New Guinea were on from the opening whistle. They went close through Judah Rimbu who tried to scoot over but he was pinged for a double movement to the crowds disappointment. 

The hosts did get on the board soon after. It was some good link play between Jacob Alick and Zac Laybutt which saw the latter go over in the left corner to make it 4-0. 

Next, Laybutt turned provider for the second four-pointer. He put on the pass for Cowboys flyer Robert Derby to touch down in the corner and get Papua New Guinea into double digits. 

The hits kept coming for the Kumuls. They were rampaging forward at will and went through the front door for the third. Epel Kapinias stormed onto a short pass to go over after it was checked by the bunker. 

Cook Islands were their own worst enemy in the first half. The visitors piled up the errors and mistakes which allowed the Kumuls to just dominate possession and rack up a score. 

It was another score from a frontrower which made it 22-0 for Papua New Guinea. The wonderfully named Valentine Richard built up a head of steam and rolled over for the four-pointer. 

They finished off the half with a double blow to make it 30-0. Winger Nene Macdonald dived over the right corner then Alex Johnston backed up well to put Laybutt over for his second score. 

Coming out of the break, the Kumuls felt just fine. Two quick tries helped the score past 40. Macdonald picked up both, the first was picking up the scraps from a kick then he finished off a break. 

Cook Islands did get on the board through their fullback. Esom Ioka was on hand to grab a kick from Brad Takairangi and did a swandive to score in the right corner for 42-4. 

The visitors made it double delight with their second four-pointer. Steven Marsters was released down the wing, kicked ahead and used a falcon from PNG fullback Alex Johnston to pick up the scraps. 

The Kumuls had chances to extend their lead but were knocked back by the bunker twice. Judah Rimbu and Jack De Belin were the two denied as the hosts tried to further entertain the crowd. 

They did finish off with a bang. Macdonald picked up his fourth try of the afternoon when the veteran winger finished off a backline movement which made it 46-10 for Papua New Guinea on a windy afternoon.