Tony Ireland Stadium – Townsville, Wednesday 10th April
Day 3 saw a terrific game of football between Oceania and New Zealand. The rain was coming down and both teams played very well. In the end Oceania came out on top for their first win after a loss and 2 draws to finish the South Pacific Cup on a high.
Oceania 4-5-29 def NZ 1-9-15
The siren sounded with the rain coming down. And the battle began. Both teams came out to play. NZ Hawks first full game of AFL with the experienced Oceania team taking a step back at the tenacity of the Hawks. Te Rei Clark leading the boys at the ruck and following up the contest again and again.
The first minute of the game saw Caleb Manukuo, Kade Riddell and Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas linking well to provide Ben Middleton the opportunity to put the first goal on the score board.
The rain made it difficult to continue with our game that saw our dominance in the air and brought the game to ground level. That in mind players up and down the ground linked well providing us with many opportunities that we didn’t quiet capitalise on.
It was a proud moment when the team came off the field they had played their first full game of AFL together and left nothing in the tank. Disappointed yes, enjoy it – absolutely. Every player stood out in their own way. Kade Riddell and Hugo Phillips lead the way. Hamish Ware, Benjamin Taankink-Williams and Josh Copeland were strong in defence. James Little, Tia Owens and Stormy Reti attacked and chased, from the midfield. Sam Johnson, Te Kopa Tipene- Thomas and Cori Albert all ran well in support in the forward line.
Oceania – William Opeti Helu, Felloakitohi Tautua, Rata Mua Cavuilati, Francis Ramo
NZ – Ben Middleton
Oceania – Sione Taufoou, Salesuar Sablon, Kisione Taulani, Alipate Generogo, Rata Mua Cavuilati
NZ – Kade Riddell, Kieran Brunel, Te Rai Clark, Hugo Phillips, Scott Manson, Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas
Thursday 11th April
Day 4 saw PNG convincingly defeat NZ to win the South Pacific Cup Tournament. It was a fantastic end to a terrific week of round robin football.
PNG 10-6-69 def NZ 1-4-10
What a terrific way to finish. The PNG Mosquito fleet ran extremely hard and jumped NZ early to be 5 goals up at half time. NZ fought very hard. But found it hard to compete at ground level. NZ worked hard to bring there tall’s into the game and competed very well across half back.
PNG – Eddie Gavuri 5 Kataha Siwee, Ben Tirang, Lawrence Kavanamur, Nani Rai
NZ – Walter Fifita
PNG – Nani Rai, Kataha Siwee, Ben Tirang, Eddie Gavuri, Jeremiah Tirang, Gideon Hautu, Gregory Ekari, Kila Rawal
NZ – Ben Middleton, Kieran Brunel, Kade Riddell, Benjamin Taankik-Williams, James Little, Hamish Ware