PNG put on a first half master class.

Image Source: NRL Twitter.

PNG 26 defeated Fiji 14.

The first of the Pacific Tests seen the 5th ranked Fiji taking on the 10th ranked PNG at Campbelltown Stadium.

Fiji started the game with the slightly better field position and a chip from Hayne playing as halfback almost resulting in the first points with Vunivalu collecting the kick, but luckily for PNG some strong cover defence stopped him just short of the line.

PNG ended up crossing first after a one on one strip from Hayne resulted in the PNG side having an extra attacking set. Junior Rao crossed for his first try on his International debut down the PNG left edge after some poor defensive options taken by Hayne and Vunivalu. Martin converted from the sideline giving PNG a 6-0 lead just short of the 15 minute mark.

PNG went over again moments later with Segeyaro pushing Hayne away from hooker and offloading to Page who palmed away Kamikamica spinning and turning his way to a try under the stick, giving Martin an easy kick to extend the lead to 12.

PNG looked to have scored a 3rd try in 10 minutes through Minoga, but he was correctly denied by the bunker as he was ruled to have illegally tapped the ball over Naiqama in an attempt to regather a Lam chip and chase.

A lazy forearm from Vunakece after the kick from Boas gave Martin the chance to extend the lead by another 2 from out wide, near the kick from his first conversion and just like his previous kicks it sailed straight through the post. PNG 14-0 after 28 minutes.

An unfortunate call against PNG resulted in a Fiji scrum feed 10 meters out and Tryone Phillips made the most, beating and wrestling against 4 PNG players to get Fijis first point on the game. The conversion attempt from Raiwalui was unsuccessful. 14-4 after 34 minutes.

It didn't take long though for PNG to hit back though with Rau getting gifted his second try on debut after some brillant work on the inside from Olam. Martin made it 4/4 with the boot just before the break and extending PNGs lead 20-4.

2nd tackle from the kick off seen a quick play-the-ball and Segeyaro setting up his second try of the match, with some lightning speed out of dummy half breaking the Fiji line and this time Olam was rewarded with a try under the sticks. Martin converting the try seen PNG take a 26-4 lead going into the break, in what is probably the best half of footy the country has produced.

An early error from PNG in the second half almost seen Fiji score of yet another scrum but a correct ruling from the ref denied Lovodua due to a double movement.

Another disallowed try for Fiji occurred in the 50th minute, with Seci correctly ruled offside from a kick chase.

A short side play from Hayne finally seen Fiji rewarded with the first points of the second half with Montoya just grounding the Hayne grubber in goal. Moceidreke was given the goal kicking duties on this occasion but he was also unsuccessful. PNG leading 26-8 with 25 to go.

It wasn't till the 69th minute Fiji crossed the line again with Vunivalu finishing a backline play, after the Fijian side had been attacking the PNG line but unable to break through for almost 10 minutes. Moceidreke converted the try bringing the lead back to 12 with 10 minutes remaining.

Some hot potato football from Fiji made the final 10 minutes edge of your seat viewing but a strong and brave PNG side were able to hold on strong with a 12 point upset victory.



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