Australia has kicked off their Four Nations campaign with a 42-0 win over Papua New Guinea on a pretty average Sydney afternoon.
Just 11,308 people turned up for the game and to be honest, I can’t blame fans for not going out to the game. With it being live on TV in Sydney, and a cold, wet day, it was a day to stay at home.
Australia had all the ball early on in the match and they were helped by mistakes by PNG and the general bounce of the ball.
While the referee was sharp with all his calls, he gave nothing at all to PNG. In games like this I always think the refs should just let the two teams play football. Sure, control the game, but we don’t need a million penalties to be blown for a result that is inevitable anyway.
Papua New Guinea play at a million miles an hour. They threw themselves at Australia in attack and defense and really did themselves proud with the effort they put in.
Australia at the end of the day relied on playing at half pace, like the Kiwi’s did last night, with a few flashes of brilliance by individuals. It was nothing to get too excited about, it was their first game together and they will be better for the run.
For Papua New Guinea, they need to make less mistakes and that will go a long way to becoming more competitive. I think if they don’t tire out over the next two weeks, they will be a real handful for England.
One interesting thing to look at from this game.
Papua New Guinea is looking to enter an NRL team some time over the next ten years. They have a lot of issues to overcome off the field, but from a pure footballing sense, you have to wonder how that PNG lineup would go in the NRL.
I tend to think they wouldn’t be too bad.
Another thing to consider is that this PNG side all up probably could be bought under the salary cap for less then $700,000. That would give you a few million to spend on a couple of start players….its fun to think about.
I couldn’t end this review of the game without mentioning Darren Lockyer claiming the try scoring record at test level. He scored his 34th try in this game to move ahead of try scoring legend Ken Irvine.
An amazing effort by the Australian captain.
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