Basconyali the Hero as Turkey Beat Vanuatu in Extra Time

Vanuatu and Turkey would do battle in the 7th place playoff in the Rugby League Emerging Nations World Championship, with both teams wanting to finish the competition on a high. Vanuatu would look to try and take advantage of the speed that they have over Turkey, while Turkey wanted to use the big bodies to wear down Vanuatu's defence.

With the first 10 minutes having plenty of back and forth action, Vanuatu opened the scoring in the left hand corner. James Wood received the ball at first receiver, sending a lovely cut out pass to Anro Kalpukai. He in turn sent the ball to his winger in Amani Arutahiki to open the scoring.

Andrew Kaltongga would miss the conversion attempt from the left touchline to leave it at 4-0 after 13 minutes.

The Salman-Cochrane brothers did it all themselves for Turkey to draw level on 17 minutes. Jaydin would give a lovely inside ball to Presley, bursting straight through the line and going on a long run. He would dummy the fullback and go himself to get Tukey on the board.

Ali Boleyhan Surer converted his first attempt to make it 6-4 for Turkey after 18 minutes.

Vanuatu would hit straight back to take the lead, with Andrew Kaltongga sending a lovely ball to Rob Franklin. In turn, Franklin would flick the ball to Alickson Napakaruna to run down the sideline and score on the right hand edge.

Kaltongga missed his second conversion attempt to leave it 8-6 for Vanuatu after 23 minutes.

Daniel Kaltonnga would make it onto the score board with a beautiful inside run off a pass from James Wood. Breaking a few tackles, Kaltongga would scamper just over 40 metres to score just left of the uprights.

Andrew Kaltongga could not make the most of the easy position, leaving the score at 12-6 with just over 5 minutes left in the first half.

A great set off a penalty would have Turkey back pedaling, and with the rain starting to pour, Alex Philip would scamper from dummy-half and burrow over to score for Vanuatu as half time neared.

Andrew Kaltongga would make no mistake this time around, with Vanuatu heading into half time with an 18-6 lead.

Turkey came out firing at the start of the second half, with Vanuatu under all sorts of pressure. Errors and penalties would ensure, with Turkey scoring 7 minutes after half time. Adam Basconyali would bulldoze over from 2 metres out to send Vanuatu players flying and the ball planted down.

Boleyhan Surer would leave his conversion attempt to the left to have the score at 18-10 after 50 minutes. 

Turkey would get a combination of luck and skill to go back-to-back, with a bomb from Emre Kutup hitting the back of a Turkish player. Ali Boleyhan Surer would pick the ball up, breaking out of a two man tackle and running through the Vanuatu defence from 40 metres out to score. 

Boleyhan Surer converted his own try to have Turkey just two points back at 18-16 after 54 minutes.

The next 10 minutes consisted of some huge runs, incredible hits and some fired up defence as Vanuatu and Turkey went end to end. Vanuatu would have 3 dummy-half runs, before Alex Philip would take a run and burrow over from 3 metres out to score.

Kaltongga missed what should have been an absolute sitter to leave the game poised at 22-16 with 13 minutes left.

Turkey would hit straight back, with Turkey forcing a Vanuatu error and making them pay for it. Adam Basconyali got an inside ball and cannoned over from short range to bring Turkey within 2 points.

Boleyhan Surer would make the most of his opportunity, with his conversion attempt going over to make the game tied at 22-22 with 6 minutes left.

There would be a report of a bite, with an official report being made and Turkey fired up after this. They forced an error deep inside the Vanuatu half from James Wood, and the siren would go. It would be the siren for the other field at St. Mary's Stadium, with Turkey kicking the ball dead on second tackle.

Vanuatu made an error with their 7 tackle set, and Turkey made them pay.  Arda Dalcik got a short ball and made an angled run, charging down the left side to score and give Turkey the lead.

Boleyhan Surer missed his conversion to leave it at 26-22, with just mere minutes left.

A long kick off ensured, and a popped up pass from Turkey landed in the hands of Vanuatu. Amani Arutahiki got the ball and sprinted 35 metres to score in the right hand corner and tie the game.

Andrew Kaltongga left his conversion short, with the siren going immediately after to leave the game poised at 26-26 and heading into extra time. 

A huge error would occur on Vanuatu's first set, with Philip giving the ball on last to a prop on halfway. The ball was knocked on and Turkey would run down the field on their set. 

Adam Basconyali got the ball from 15 metres out, and in a moment that reminded fans of Nathan Cayless at Parramatta, kicked the game-sealing field goal to win the game in extra time for Turkey 27-26. 


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