The u16s Kokomos took the field and watched, with spectators, the Tongan boys perform their cultural equivalent of the Haka.
The wind had picked up since the earlier, u14s match as the Kokomos boys kicked of their second trial match in their campaign to claim the 2017 QPICC Carnival u16s title under the guidance of Senior Coach, Matt Muir.
PNG were quick to make their mark on the game with Edward Bolan putting PNG in front with an early try. Unfortunately PNG were unable to convert. PNG 4 – Tonga 0.
PNG looked to do it again, with half, Bodhi Banister, offloading to Josh Paiyo who bustled through the Tongan defence to put them with 5m of the Tongan try line. However, a Tongan intercept put an end to the PNG attacking raid.
Tonga returned serve putting the pressure on the Kokomos boys and the boys withstood the initial threat with some brilliant defense but eventually succumbed with Hunter Rundmann putting Tonga’s first points on the board. A successful conversion putting Tonga in the lead. PNG 4 – Tonga 6.
Another Tongan try before the siren put the half time score at PNG 4 – Tonga 12.
PNG made an early break in the second half and Cruise Ten capitalised on the opportunity scoring but again PNG were unable to add the extras. PNG 8 – Tonga 12.
The battle continued with Tonga hitting back and extending their lead to 8 points over their PNG opponents. This was further extended with another converted try to Tonga making the score PNG 8 – Tonga 22.
The PNG boys refused to give up without a fight and Kokomos’ Cruise Ten’s individual try combined with Jarone Clunn’s 2 points, made the final score PNG 14 – Tonga 22.
The Kokomos boys showed flashes of brilliance and as they continue to work their combinations, and become more confident in the team mates around them, I am sure that they will obtain the dominance they seek.