The u18s Kokomo’s side couldn’t have started their game against the Maoris any better. Some slick passing and a deft step saw the PNG boys score in the opening minutes of the match.
PNG 4 v Maori 0
The Maori’s hit back with a try down the line but missed the kick leaving the score at 4-all. The Moaris were quick to add the next try with a 70 metre solo effort that eluded the Kokomos defence.
PNG 4 v Maori 8
The two teams continue make significant inroads on the other team for the remainder of the half but neither team could land any punches on the other for the remainder of the first half.
The Maori team opened up the second half with several forays into the PNG territory and although they managed to get within centimetres of the line twice, some solid defence from the Kokomos repelled the attack raids.
PNG then intercepted a further attacking raid but the referee called it a knock on. PNG however, weren’t done. Bobby Tau scored for the Kokomos and again the scores were locked. This time at 8 a piece.
PNG 8 v Maori 8
The Kokomos fought through fatigue to keep the pressure on their opponents and the Moaris were on the back foot trying to keep the Kokomos at bay. Jayden Sharp looked to have scored but the referee ruled penalised them for play the ball infractions. The Maoris, aware the siren was about to go at any second were keen to garner the win but they were beaten by the final whistle.
Disappointed at being robbed of the win the Kokomos u18s had to settle for a draw.
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.
Alan White, put the PNG boys on the board for the Lee Sharp trained, u18s Kokomos, and Shaun Hoerler made sure of the kick to put PNG in front 6 nil against Tonga.
Tonga responded with a beautiful try down the side line from Goor whose step and speed kept him out PNG’s reach. Sietoa Teesi missed a difficult kick. PNG 6 – Tonga 4.
The Kokomos’ attacking speed caught Tonga offguard with Lachlan Medcraft scoring but the kick was unsuccessful. PNG extended their lead to 10 over Tonga 4.
Bobby Tau stepped and weaved his way through the Tongan defence and offloaded to no. 16. who made a 30 metre run down the sideline but were unable to make the most of the opportunity. Instead Devontai Secmanitafa crossed for the second try of the day for Tonga. Sietoa Teesi made sure of the extras and the scores were locked at 10 a piece.
Another try by the fleet-footed Goor, and a conversion by Teesi had the PNG boys behind by six points. The half-time score, PNG 10 – Tonga 16.
An early second half try by Tonga’s, Troy Shepherd, had Tonga leading the match 20-10.
Alan White, who had been successfully probing the Tongan defensive line in the first half did so again, but Hoerler failed to convert. The PNG boys had closed the gap to 6 points. PNG 14 – Tonga 20.
Tonga were next to hit back with Devontai Secmanitafa bagging his second for the match. Shaun Hoerler for PNG responded in quick succession but was unable to convert his own try. The score PNG 18 – 24.
Tonga sealed the match with a try by MJ Havili. The final score PNG 18 – Tonga 28
The Kokomos boys showed real promise but a few unforced errors at critical times cost them. Like our other PNG teams they start well but are unable to sustain the pressure on their opponents in the second half. Trial games against the Cook Is next week will help iron out the kinks and allow the combination and structures to come together.
Coach Matt Muir has name the team to compete in this year’s QPICC Cup Under 18s Championship. This team is full of exciting up and coming stars and should do well.
Congratulations boys on your selection in the team and we wish you all the best!