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.