New Zealand has smashed Papua New Guinea 56-10 in Leeds.
The Kiwi’s started in ominous fashion by scoring a try after just 2 minutes. They backed that up with a second try after just 6 minutes. I could go on and tell you about every try scoring play the New Zealand team had in the first half but I would be here all morning.
Put simply, the Papua New Guinean defense was terrible in the first half. It wasn’t helped by repeated penalties. The New Zealand team looked incredible. Their go forward was unstoppable and for long stretches of the first half they simply did not allow PNG to touch the ball as they scored try after try.
Issac Luke chewed up meters out of dummy half, every single one of the Kiwi’s forwards looked unstoppable. Sonny Bill Williams offloaded almost every time he looked like he was going to get tackled with the ball. That was, when he wasn’t scoring tries! Sonny Bill Williams almost ran over the dead ball line again while scoring a try in the first half. It was as close at the Kiwi’s got to making a mistake.
The 40-0 half time scoreline probably doesn’t do justice to how well New Zealand played…if that is possible. I mentioned on Twitter that I don’t think I have ever seen New Zealand play such ruthless, amazing, half of football.
In the second half Papua New Guinea received the kickoff and incredibly went the length of the field in their first set of six to score a try under the posts. It was an amazing start to the half and the crowd loved seeing the underdogs finally get on the scoreboard. The conversion made the scoreline 40-6 in the Kiwi’s favour. No doubt anyone that had a bet on the Kumuls with the points start started to worry!
New Zealand were under the pump a little bit to open the second half. Papua New Guinea were running onto the ball hard and looking to get a few offloads which really caused problems for the New Zealand defense.
It didn’t stop the Kiwi’s from scoring in the 49th minute though through Dean Whare. He backed that up with a second try in the 56th minute. The conversion gave New Zealand a 52-6 lead.
The game started to get a little scrappy for both teams with New Zealand continuing to dominate field position. They would score again in the 67th minute. The conversion hit the upright however the scoreline now stood at 56-6.
Sonny Bill Williams almost scored his 4th try in the 70th minute after simply touching down a knock back from a cross field kick. The contest for the kick was ruled to have been illegal though in what was a ridiculous video refereeing decision.
The Kumuls managed to close out the match with a break away try in the 79th minute. The conversion was missed and the full time siren went with the scoreline giving the Kiwis a big 56-10 win.
Sonny Bill Williams was named the official man of the match in just the 73rd minute…
One injury note to come out of this game. Thomas Leuluai got his first game time of the World Cup in this match and only lasted a few minutes before he left the game again. You’d have to question whether he will play any part in the rest of the World Cup. It will be hard for Stephen Kearney to bring him into the final few games knocking he is under done, possibly carrying and injury still, and having to change a winning formula to do so.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Mar 12, 2020 0