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PNG v Australia as it happened


Papua New Guinea 6-46 Australia

Text 81111 (with "RUGBYL" as the first word) or use 606 (Not all contributions can be used)

By Phil Harlow

1046: A really emotional interview with Stanley Gene, who just about holds it together to get a few words out.

"I'm still in a dream world - it's a great way to finish against the world champions. I'm so proud of these young kids and they've got a great future in front of them," he says, holding back the tears as best he can.

"I just came here to play for my family and my country with pride."

He certainly did that. Once again - what a legend.

1044: Stanley Gene is in floods of tears as his team-mates carry him off on their shoulders to mark his last ever Test. What an absolute legend.

1041: "Why don't the England management team find out where PNG buy their pride from so we can get some...?
BlakBruker on 606

80 mins: The final hooter goes and PNG walk off to a deserved ovation. Australia were clinical and professional, but the story of the game was the Kumuls' proud defensive display.

78 mins: TRY & CONVERSION PNG 6-46 Australia
The tackles are still flying in from PNG, but an angled pass from Johnathan Thurston catches them out with Anthony Tupou coming back against the grain to score under the posts.

And Thurston slots another conversion to close in on the half century.

74 mins: TRY & CONVERSION PNG 6-40 Australia
Fantastic stuff - the highlight of the World Cup for me. PNG get the try they have deserved all night as Menzie Yere, who will never have to buy another drink as long as he lives, gets over the line.

Rod Griffin puts in an awesome diagonal grubber, and Yere reads it perfectly to collect it and burrow his way over.

And skipper John Wilshere kicks the conversion to ensure PNG get more points on the board against Australia than England did.

72 mins: PNG go short at the kick-off and Rod Griffin reclaims it to set up another Kumuls attack.

70 mins: TRY & CONVERSION PNG 0-40 Australia
David Williams becomes only the third Kangaroos player to score a hat-trick on his Test debut as he sprints down the touchline to get in at the corner.

Israel Folau makes a huge dent initially, and then the ball is worked out to the right where Brent Tate draws the defence before giving his winger a one-on-one which he gratefully accepted.

Another touchline conversion for Johnathan Thurston makes it 40-0.

67 mins: PNG are still on the attack, winning another penalty for a dodgy play-the-ball by Brent Kite. But James Chan coughs up possession inside the Australia 20 and they will have to start again.

66 mins: "PNG really are showing true grit and determination. Hope they get in for a score before the end."
chrismoho2k8 on 606

63 mins: PNG hooker Paul Aiton is held up over the line. The crowd will go ballistic if they can get a try they so richly deserve.

They open up a half-chance for James Nightingale, but he panics slightly and sends out an unnecessary pass. Still, the Kumuls get another set as Israel Folau knocks on.

60 mins: PNG are still muscling up in defence, and Australia replacement Israel Folau's first touch is a desperate pass back inside which doesn't find its target. The Kumuls win a penalty and clear the danger again.

57 mins: Once again David Moore does superbly in defence, knocking David Williams off the ball as the up and under comes down.

PNG surge upfield and Neville Costigan puts in a high kick which seems to spend half an hour in the air. It turns Aussie full-back Karmichael Hunt, and he eventually drops it backwards before partially recovering.

53 mins: TRY & CONVERSION PNG 0-34 Australia
A superb run from debutant winger David Williams is finally ended with a great cover tackle by Tu'u Maori. PNG defend for all they are worth, but on the last tackle Australia keep the ball alive in seemingly impossible situations and eventually Scott Prince goes over for his second of the game.

Another simple conversion for Johnathan Thurston.

51 mins: PNG stand-off Stanley Gene makes amends for his intercept pass with a magnificent tackle on Brent Tate out wide, dragging the centre out over the touchline.

49 mins: A huge hit from Nico Slain and Jessie Joe Parker wins the ball back from PNG. You just cannot say enough about their defence so far.

47 mins: PNG force the goal-line drop-out as a clever kick from John Wilshere requires Karmichael Hunt to pop it over the line with his knee.

45 mins: More superb work in defence by PNG winger David Moore as he defuses a bomb under intense pressure inside his in-goal area.

42 mins: TRY & CONVERSION PNG 0-28 Australia
A real shame for PNG as they concede an early interception try. PNG defend their line heroically and get the ball back, but a long pass from Stanley Gene is read by Scott Prince, and he plucks it out of the air and strolls over.

Johnathan Thurston slots the easiest of conversion.

41 mins: Australia kick off and we're back under way. If PNG can back up their first-half effort here in the second stanza, they'll deserve every plaudit they will get on their return to home shores.

0954: "The Kumuls are playing with true pride. England could learn a thing or two. Come on Stan and the lads, stick it to them."
HailThePocketRocket on 606

0950: It's difficult to argue with these last few comments. OK, we can all see Australia are going to win this game, but PNG have been brilliant. One of the teams of the tournament for me, regardless of the fact they haven't won a game.

Their attitude sums up what international sport - any sport - should be all about.

0948: "I would love to see PNG win today but I doubt it will happen. They have been a joy to watch: pride, passion, unity. Three vital components that our "team" can only dream about..."
RLNUMBER1 on 606

0945: "Up until reading reading Stanley Gene's biography I never really realised how passionate PNG were about rugby league.

"They epitomise being passionate for your country, not only them but other South Sea island nations. They take the underdog attitude and put it to good use."
Steviemacs_in the gulf

40 mins: Brilliant defence from PNG on the stroke of half-time as they keep Australia out before the break. Tackle after tackle is made on the tryline and Australia have to settle for a 22-point lead at the break.

38 mins: Australia kick on the last through Scott Prince, but Menzie Yere is alive to the danger and falls on the ball to save the situation.

36 mins: TRY PNG 0-22 Australia
But the Kangaroos get it right a few moments later as they bamboozle the PNG defence with decoy runners galore before Brent Tate gives the scoring pass for David Williams to cross the line with ease.

Johnathan Thurston makes his first mistake of the match - maybe the tournament? - as he misses the conversion.

34 mins: Australia make a mistake in attack, sending the pass straight out into touch on the right.

32 mins: "PNG should have beaten England in the first game and be playing today knowing that they are in the next round instead of England. From the games I've watched there is much more pride in wearing the colours of PNG than there is for English players.

"This whole tournament has shown that the newer RL playing nations have real pride and passion for the game. Go Stanley Gene and the rest of the lads - do yourselves proud and go out with your heads held high."
alwaysarobin on 606

30 mins: Excellent stuff from PNG. Stanley Gene puts the chip kick in early in the tackle count and they force the goal-line drop-out as Karmichael Hunt runs it out.

27 mins: PNG go short at the kick-off and regain it through winger David Moore. You simply have to take your hat off to this Kumuls side for their sheer pride and willingness to work.

25 mins: TRY & CONVERSION PNG 0-18 Australia
A second try for centre Joel Monaghan as some quick hands from Scott Prince and Darius Boyd allow him to walk it in out wide on the left.

Yet another delightful conversion from Johnathan Thurston stretches the lead again.

24 mins: Anthony Tupou embarks on a huge charge on the first tackle, and is met by an absolute brick wall of three PNG defenders. A huge collision, with PNG giving as good they get.

22 mins: TRY & CONVERSION PNG 0-12 Australia
Australia make the most of the position, with some excellent PNG defence finally leaking the try as Joel Monaghan wrestles his way through David Moore's tackle to squeeze over after a clever short pass from Karmichael Hunt.

Another curling effort from Johnathan Thurston goes between the posts to make it 12-0.

20 mins: Australia have to run it off their own tryline, but Johnanthan Thurston is inches away from a massive 40/20 kick. PNG then spoil it a little by knocking on early in the tackle count as they attempt to run out of defence.

17 mins: PNG finally get into the Australia half with ball in hand. They can be hugely proud of their efforts so far.

13 mins: David Moore, take a bow. His magnificent last-ditch ankle tap on Anthony Watmough denies Australia a certain try in the shadow of the posts.

Watmough looks to be sprinting in with ease, but Moore refuses to give it up and makes up the ground to just make an ankle tap. Watmough knocks on and you'd have thought PNG had just won the WOrld Cup. Great stuff.

11 mins: Australia open up PNG on the right again with ball in hand, working an overlap for David Williams but referee Steve Ganson disallows it for a forward pass by Karmichael Hunt.

9 mins: TRY & CONVERSION PNG 0-6 Australia
After surviving five sets against them, the PNG defence finally cracks. Johnanthan Thurston sends up an inch-perfect up-and-under to the right wing, and this time David Williams gets the better of David Moore to dot down.

Thurston curls in a beautiful conversion and Australia are up and running.

8 mins: "I can only see Oz winning but I hope PNG hurt them in the process. Wipe those smug grins off their faces Kumuls!!"
Steviemacs_in the gulf!

7 mins: A powerful run from Kangaroos second rower Anthony Watmough sees him run through three tacklers, but he gets overexcited and gives an offload without looking which PNG gratefully gobble up.

6 mins: Brilliant take from PNG winger David Moore after Terry Campese sends up a spiralling bomb. Moore gets up above opposite man David Williams and takes the ball above his head like a goalkeeper taking a cross into the penalty area.

4 mins: John Wilshere tidies up a Johnathan Thurston grubber as Australia pile on the pressure early on. PNG are standing toe-to-toe with Australia so far.

2 mins: Great first input from PNG stand-off Stanley Gene as a fantastic kick on the last puts Australia under pressure just short of the tryline.

1 min: Some ferocious PNG defence first up, with Neville Costigan knocking Brent Kite off his feet with the first tackle of the game.

0859: PNG skipper John Wilshere kicks off and we're under way.

0857: There are tears in the eyes of the PNG players as the national anthems are belted out. This is expected to be Stanley Gene's last Test, and it would be a brave - or incredibly stupid - man who walked up to him at the moment and told him this match is a foregone conclusion. Anyway, what a legend he has been, for PNG, for every Super League club he has played for, and for the sport as a whole.

Let's hope he can go out of the international arena with the performance he deserves.

0855: Let's remind ourselves of the teams on display in Townsville:

Papua New Guinea: Wilshere, Moore, Yere, Kui, Maori, Gene, Peters, Chan, Aiton, Exton, Costigan, Nightingale, Griffin. Replacements: Prior, Slain, Parker, Aston.

Australia: Hunt, Boyd, Tate, Monaghan, Williams, Campese, Thurston, Kite, Smith, Perry, Watmough, Tupou, Fitzgibbon. Replacements: Prince, Price, Gallen, Folau.

Referee: S Ganson (England)

0851: Perhaps mindful of PNG's reputation for hitting rather hard in the tackle, Australia hooker and captain Cameron Smith has tried to play down talk of a huge Kangaroos victory.

"Talk of 100 points certainly hasn't come from our camp, that's come from the outside," he said.

"We know they're a very good team and they almost rolled the Pommies up here a few weeks ago.

"When they're feeling good they can play some really attractive football."

0845: Some of the PNG players aren't too impressed by Australia's selection, believing the Kangaroos have shown them a lack of respect by making so many changes and leaving out stars like Greg Inglis and Darren Lockyer.

"We'll do everything we can hurt them and make them regret putting those players in," said prop Jason Chan.

"We want to rub their faces in it... we want to smash them."

Ominous. That's all I'm saying.

0830: Morning all, it's the final match of the group stages of the World Cup with defending champions Australia taking on Papua New Guinea in Townsville.

The fact that most bookies aren't even offering odds against an Australian victory probably tells you all you need to know about the likely outcome.

But England coach Tony Smith and his beleaguered squad will still be slightly concerned. If PNG somehow pull off the biggest upset in the history of the tournament, England areon the next flight home.

Australia have named a new-look side from the line-up which thrashed England last week, with Terry Campese - the nephew of union legend David - starting at stand-off and almost the whole Kangaroos pack has been changed.

If you want to get involved, let us know your thoughts on 606 or via text on 81111.

Rugby League World Cup : Group A Table
09 November 2008 10:42
  Team P PD PTS
1 Australia 3 112 6
2 New Zealand 3 30 4
3 England 3 -50 2
4 Papua New Guinea 3 -92 0

Rugby League World Cup : Group B Table
05 November 2008 12:59
  Team P PD PTS
1 Fiji 2 34 2
2 Scotland 2 -16 2
3 France 2 -18 2

Rugby League World Cup : Group C Table
05 November 2008 09:52
  Team P PD PTS
1 Ireland 2 16 2
2 Tonga 2 -6 2
3 Samoa 2 -10 2

see also
Rugby League World Cup squads
14 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup 2008 fixtures
08 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup Quiz
17 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
World Cup 2008 - players to watch
14 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup history
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup on the BBC
06 Oct 08 |  Rugby League

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