The QLD PNG Open Men’s side has had real difficulty fielding a full side over the past few weeks and this week was particularly difficult. So much so that 45 year old former Kumul, Elias Paiyo, relinquished his coaching duties to Lee Sharp, and pulled on the boots. Paiyo was joined by Jarome, Bruno and Sam Tau who all had not played in years.
The Cook Islanders were quick to rack up the points against a team made up of crack youngsters and a bunch of old blokes who had long hung up the boots. At half time the score was PNG 6 – Cook Is. 14. The six points were courtesy of an Alan White try from a break by Israel Talligatus. LJ Waddups added the two.
The Cook Islanders came back after the second half with another two quick tries, making the score PNG 10 – Cook Is 26. But the Kokomos were not about to give up.
LJ put Seb Samuels through a hole and made a massive break and was tackled on the line. A quick play the ball to LJ Waddups saw him add another 6 points to the scoreboard for PNG with a converted try. Taking the score to PNG 12 – Cook Is 26.
PNG kept the pressure on and Isreal Talligatus, an u18s player who stepped up to fill in for the Men’s Open team scored down the wing. It was a move started by the Kumul veteran, Paiyo, who passed it to Bobby Tau an on to Talligatus – a youngster with real speed to burn. The score now PNG 18 to Cook Islands 26.
Full time was fast approaching and the PNG boys refused to give in. They kept testing the Cook Island defence and eventually found it wanting. A break from the mecurial Alan White put them on the attack. An deft kick from Cameron Boga lead to a try by Brad Frith. LJ Waddups scored the much needed extra two points.
Just two points behind, the Kokomos stayed in the hunt for a win and were on the attack when the full-time whistle beat them.
Not a bad performance for a team that had not only not played together but hadn’t actually played in years! The heart and passion they displayed, is what QLD PNG Kokomos is all about. Never, ever, ever giving in or giving up.
Coach, Elias Paiyo, said that he was proud of their efforts. LJ Waddups took control of the team and successfully steered them around the paddock, and this was backed up with some brilliant individual plays from the younger players. Paiyo was impressed that they stood tall in a team that really was under the pump from the start.
“You can’t be anything but proud,” he said.
QLD PNG’s Thame Kellemer set the standard for the match when a few minutes into the game he pulled off what had to be the tackle of the day.
The Cook Islands were awarded a controversial try by the referee as the player clearly dropped the ball. However the referee’s decision stood and further salt was rubbed into the wound when they kicked the extras putting them in the lead 6 – nil.
Somewhat shell-shocked from the disappointing start to the game, the Kokomos were hit by the hard-charging Cookies again, making it 10 to nil.
The QLD PNG boys recomposed themselves and Jayden Sharp put the first points on the board for QLD PNG. Lachlan Medcraft made sure of the extras. The score as they headed into halftime PNG 6 – Cook Is. 10.
The Kokomos’ boys came back firing. Isreal Talligatus scored early locking the scores up at 10 all after Medcraft missed a difficult kick from the sideline.
Not long after the PNG boys had regained possession and a series of great attacking plays put them 20 metres out from the try line when Jayden Sharp put up a pin point perfect kick to the corner and Jamahl Rose showed a quick pair of heels in the chase for the ball and scored in the corner.
The Kokomos were in front for the first time leading 14 points to Cook Is 10.
The Cook Islands boys, however, were not about to throw in the towel. They hit back with two quick tries and again marked their authority on the game. Cook Islands now had 6 point lead over the Kokomos.
The Kokomos boys showed real heart and dug deep, not willing to concede a loss and they were rewarded for their efforts. Danny Willie scored in the dying seconds of the game and Lachlan Medcraft made sure of the two points to record a draw against the Cook Islands.
When asked about the u18s performance, Coach, Lee Sharp, thought the boys played well and he was really happy with the effort. Looking at what he needs to see in the upcoming QPICC carnival, he stated that he would like to see the guys start the game at the same tempo as they finished it.
The U16s struggled through the first half in their trial match against the Cook Island boys. The somewhat lacklustre first half was disappointing with the Cook Islands piling on 18 points. PNG, on the other hand, put four points on the board thanks to a try by Bodhi Banister.
What was said to boys at half-time remains unknown but the second half performance was an entirely different story. Cook Is scored a converted try early in the second half, extending their lead to PNG 4 v Cook Is 24.
An injury to Kokomo, Donovan Obi, stopped the game momentarily. As the game recommenced PNG strung together some beautiful team plays and managed to work their way to within the try line. As they looked to cross it, Cook Island stripped the ball and awarded the PNG boys a second dig that they were determined to take advantage of and they did courtesy of a hard charging try from Josh Paiyo and a successful conversion by Danley Mark. PNG 10 v Cook Is 24.
This seemed to spark a resurgence in the PNG boys who showed flashes of absolute brilliance, with incredible team work. It seems the connections they struggled to make happen in the first half were beginning to work with another try for PNG from Danley Mark, who was unable to convert his own try. The score now PNG 14 v 24 and this was the final score at the full time siren.
Coach, Matt Muir, revealed after the match, that the team had taken on a bunch of Rugby Union boys from Nudgee college, some of whom had never actually played league before.
Asked what he was looking for from the boys, Muir made it clear that he wanted the boys to play with more intensity and aggression in the upcoming QPICC games.
“We need to look at our attitudes and learn to compete for everything, we need to make the opposition work for the win”, he said.
“The game plan is not to play one-up football but to throw the ball wide and up the tempo. We need to keep the pressure on in attack and ask questions of the opposition defence,” he stated.
While the boys suffered an early setback with Tynan Han suffering a wrist injury, the Kokomos boys took on the Cook Islander boys undaunted by the size of their opposition. Joe Hoerler got an early break and then secured a penalty after the Cook Is opposition went in high. Unfortunately, PNG were unable to capitalise on their early foray into the opposition territory.
The first half continued to be a tense arm wrestle, neither side giving way to the other. Cook Is were the first to blink, with the classy PNG representative, Will Boland crossing the line and putting the Kokomos in front 4 nil.
Kavana Kurt equalised just on half time for the Cook Islands with the 4 All half-time score reflecting the tight match.
Giovanni Marius made a 3om break with a bustling run through Cook Island traffic that put them within 5m of the line. Marius backed up for the second phase of the next play and looked to have crossed the line but the referee called him short. PNG kept the pressure on with Andrew Hill also looking to cross the line but the touchie called him out.
The Cook Island boys answered the pressure with a try from Xavier Stowers, which was converted by Jay Masters. The Cook Island boys had garnered the lead. PNG 4 – Cook Is. 10.
A beautiful kick off from PNG, lead to them regathering the ball from the kick off. They managed to get to within 10m of the try line but a pushed pass put Cook Island back in possession and made the most of it with another try. This was followed up with another try in the corner.
The Final Score was PNG 4 v Cook Is. 18.
After the game, Coach, Neville Chang, said he was very proud of the boys performance, especially considering a lot of them were 12 and 13 year olds. He thinks correcting a few small things will see positive results as they move into the QPICC carnival.
“We need to hold on to the footy and finish set plays and not revert to one-off individual plays. They also need to have a bit of faith and stop second guessing themselves”, said Chang.
He added that over the next two weeks he will be concentrating on welding the boys together as a team.
06/05/2017 Campbelltown Stadium, NSW AUSTRALIA
The players have taken their places for the playing of the National Anthems.
Conceding too many metres in defence and not enough line speed is putting the Kumuls under unnecessary pressure
#PNGKumuls 30 v CI 22
FULLTIME SCORE: #PNGHunters 32 v CI 22
QLD PNG have confirmed that they will host a trial match against the Cook Islands Rugby League Team.
Games are at Springwood Tigers Rugby League Club
35-55 Rholanda Cr, Springwood 4127
There is no gate fee, but 2 meat tray raffles and a bucket going around with gold coin donation, all contributions go to help continue our Kokomos Development Program!
PNG Kokomos vs Cook Islands Trial Match Program
10.15am – u14 boys (25min halves)
11.20am – u16 boys (30min halves)
12.40pm – Women (30min halves)
2.00pm – u18 boys (30min halves)
3.20pm – Mens Prems (35min halves)
QLD PNG Rugby League played host to Cook Islands and Tongan teams in preparation for the Queensland Pacific Islands Cultural Carnival to be held at Bill Norris Oval at Beenleigh next weekend. The trial matches, also at Bill Norris Oval, showcased some amazing rugby league talent.
U18’s QLD PNG v QLD Cook Is.
The opening match was between the U18’s QLD PNG and u18’s QLD Tonga. PNG survived an early scare with Dominic Noo making a 60m run towards the line but fortunately for PNG, LJ Waddups was able to run him down and forcing him to pass under pressure which allowed PNG to recover the ball. Soon after John Wame kicked the ball into the corner and was picked up by Courtney Wanma put the opening points on the board with Waddups converting to make it 6-nil to PNG.
Spencer, the Cook Islands winger, quickly responded with a try after a 50 metre run down the wing, outsprinting the opposition defenders. This put the score at 6-4 to PNG.
The Cook Islands scored again after another raid into the corner had them hard up against the line and a hail-mary pass over the head landed in the hands of Jason Rolfe who crossed for another 4 points.
PNG’s Joel Gittins quickly hit back with a try under the posts making it an easy 2 points for Waddup. This was followed by a well constructed team try taking the score to PNG 12 – CI 8.
After a series of dropped balls & missed kicks, PNG recovered to score another well constructed team try with Wame crossing again and Waddups adding the extras. The teams went into the halftime break with PNG leading the Cook Islanders 22- 8.
The opening passages of play saw PNG’s Braidyn Annakin off with a shoulder injury, but PNG forged ahead with Gittins crossing for his second try of the day and Waddup slotting another making it 28-8.
Gittins made it a hatrick just minutes later with an awesome run down the wing. The Cook Islanders however had no thoughts of conceding defeat and Brad Frith sidestepped several PNG defenders and added another four pointer for them taking it to 32-12 after they failed to convert and was quickly followed by another converted try by Josh Skeen after a series of incredible individual plays.
Richie Tengdui weaved his way through traffic and forced his way over the line after a bustling run. Soon after Wanma pulled off an amazing intercept at the 30m mark and ran like the wind with three of the Cook Island players on his tail. They managed to pull him down a metre from the line, but fortunately for Wanma, momentum carried him over the line.
This was topped up by another couple from Gittins, who bagged a total of five tries for the day which earned him Man of the Match and PNG were able to close out the game with a 54-18 victory over their Cook Island counterparts.
QLD Men’s Open B’s V Eagleby Giants
This was an opportunity for the Mens B side to hit out with new competition entrants the Eagleby Giants. The Giants opened the account just three minutes into the match with Tai Halalini scoring and Jarred Joinbee kicking the conversion.
PNGs Alex Ambia sidestepped several Giants but forward pass cost PNG a sure try. PNG continued to apply pressure which saw Shawn Wickham follow up with a four pointer and Moses Lohia made sure of the conversion, putting them at 6 a piece.
Steve Franciscus made a break offloading with deft hands and timing to Tengdui who flicked the ball off to Michael Dodi who made sure to put the ball under the posts to make it another easy 2 pointer for Lohia. PNG Kokomos went into half time with a 12-6 lead over the Giants.
The second half opened with Dodi dodging and weaving his way down the sideline between it and the Giants defenders. He slid over the line making it his second try for the day. Ambia, making amends for his earlier forward pass, sidestepped the Eableby boys and outran them to the line with sheer pace.
Another try not long after to Dodi put the PNG Mens B side ahead 24 -12. Rae Neville added another. In the dying minutes of the game Thomas Taylor made a bullocking run, offloading to Jimmy De La Cruz who crossed the line for the Giants. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to fend off a PNG win with the final score 30-16.
The Man of the Match Award went to PNG’s Michael Dodi who scored a hatrick of tries.
U14/15’s QLD PNG Kokomos vs QLD Tonga
This match opened with Tonga doing their version of the Haka much to the obvious delight of the crowd. With the preliminaries over, this game proved to be a tight tussle between the two teams and in many ways outshone the other games on the programme.
Such was the tightness of the match that the first points on the board were not scored until well into the first half. Tonga were the first to draw blood with David Matoko scoring. The conversion was unsuccessful and the half time score was 4-0 to Tonga.
PNG hit back after half time with Shawn Hoeller making the break and offloading to Cruise Ten, who incredibly caught the ball at his feet, making it 4 all. Ten backed up with a second try a few minutes later with Hayden Herd collecting the extras for PNG and putting them ahead 10-4.
But Tonga continued to play strong, disciplined football – as did PNG. Tonga hit back with a converted try by Mathias Smally. Tesi Nui added the two points in windy conditions making it 10 all.
It really could have gone either way at this stage, however a poorly executed short kick off cost PNG dearly. It allowed Tonga’s Carlos Knox to score and again they made sure of the crucial extra two points.
In the closing minutes PNG regained their discipline and refused to give in and they were rewarded for their efforts with a try by Bobby Tau. With just two points between them it was essential PNG’s Herd kicked the final conversion but unfortunately missed out on the extra two points handing a 16-14 victory to the Tongan’s.
Tonga’s Carlos Knox was awarded the Man of the Match.
Mens A QLD PNG Kokomos vs QLD Tonga
The day’s programme culminated with the Mens Open ‘A’ Kokomos taking on QLD Tonga. Mark Mathies opened the account for the Kokomos with a try in the first few minutes of the match but Tonga hit back with Matt Falesi’u scoring and Simione Fatefeh converting. Tuhulu Isile- Fo’ou scored another try for Tonga but unfortunately Fatefeh hit the post bouncing back into the infield.
Midway through the first half the crowd were treated to the surprise return of PNG Kumul legend, Elias Paiyo. I’m sure many were wondering how the 43 year old would go mixing it with 20 plus aged players and it didn’t take long to get their answers. After Tries by Eli Wickham. McKenzie Mura and captain, Harry Lohia, PNG went into the half time break with a 22- 14 lead.
Tonga, keen to narrow the margin early in the second half, saw Pone Laulu awarded with 10 in the bin after a late tackle. Despite being a man down Tonga managed to score with Suli Sefokuli going over.
PNG’s relentless pressure was rewarded with a try by Eli Wickham with Steve Franciscus converting. PNG made it another quick converted try taking the score to 34-18.
For those left wondering whether Paiyo still had what it takes to mix it with the ‘big boys’ the answer was a resounding ‘yes’. Paiyo did what he does best, running the angles and busting the line he was responsible for another PNG 4 pointer.
Paiyo then helped set up Franciscus for another with then kicked the conversion from in front taking the score to 44-18.
Late in the second half Franciscus made a break and looked to pass, the pass went to ground and Eli Wickham kicked the ball forward and chased it. The ball bounced up into his hands and he went over for another PNG try.
PNG ran out winners in a 50-18 win over their Tongan counterparts. Eli Wickham was awarded Man of the Match.
QLD PNG Rugby League Match Report.
QLD PNG Kokomos have confirmed the Cook Island Challenge with the encounter being put on the calendar for Saturday, 11th October, 2014. The game will be held at Bill Norris Oval
Times to confirmed. The following teams will take part in the challenge.
U16s : Qld PNG V Cook Island Development Qld
U18s : Qld PNG V Cook Island Development Qld
Mens”B” : Qld PNG V Eagleby Giants (to be confirmed)
Mens”A” : Qld PNG V Cook Islands Development Qld.
Chairman, of QLD PNG Kokomos, Tom Adamson also announced that they were looking to confirm dates for their annual clash with the QLD Moaris.