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.