While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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Papua New Guinea has made it three-from-three in Port Moresby and locked in a Quarter Final date with England, after a 64-nil thrashing of USA.
For the first time since 2000, the Kumuls have advanced from the group stages with a 100% record. The Kumuls put on a slick performance to run out 11 tries-to-nil winners in convincing fashion, in front of a third-consecutive sell-out at the national stadium in Port Moresby.
After starting from the bench in the first two games, James Segeyaro was promoted to starting minutes. He was joined by the son of former Kumul, as Lachlan Lam made an impressive debut for his nation and confirmed a probable quarter-final against England.
The Sharks hooker looked like he had a point to prove, as he put together an explosive opening twenty minutes. He busted through the line twice, once to send support runner Lam in for the opening four-pointer then he combined with another famous last name, Moses Meninga, to find the line himself.
Once they had points on the board, it was one-way traffic, as the USA wilted in the heat of Port Moresby, as the Kumuls continued to entertain to a 34-nil half-time scoreline. Justin Olam, who played second fiddle to Garry Lo, in the first two games, had his own highlight reel. The Storm winger scored a hat-trick and showed a clean pair of heels for his final try of the afternoon.
It wasn't the perfect performance for PNG though, their coach Michael Marum, will want them to respect the ball more when they come against England, in their likely quarter-final match-up down in Melbourne. At points of the contest, the Kumuls couldn't complete a set and against a slicker side, it might cost them.
This afternoon was all about history though. A first quarter-final berth since 2000 for the Kumuls, was confirmed in emphatic style in the second half. Watson Boas, Stargroth Amean and Nene Macdonald all found the line added to Olam's hat-trick and the double for Lam.
For the Hawks, it won't be a Rugby League World Cup to remember, but the fact most of their squad was domestic based gives them a platform to build from for future World Cups, possibly including a home one.
Papua New Guinea 64 - United States 0
Venue: National Football Stadium
Halftime Score: Papua New Guinea 34 United States 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Lachlan Lam
2 points - Justin Olam
1 points - Rhyse Martin
PAPUA NEW GUINEA (64)
Tries: Lachlan Lam (2), Justin Olam (3), James Segeyaro, Rod Griffin, Stargroth Amean, David Mead, Watson Boas, Nene Macdonald
Conversions: Rhyse Martin (10/11)
UNITED STATES (0)