Day 2 saw the conclusion of Pool Play for the Men’s draw and had plenty of Oceania action.
PNG had another tough outing this morning going down to England in the 2nd round 22-10 before a close match against Spain, which saw a yellow card to Spain’s Francisco Hernandez helped William TIrang score his second try for the match in the dying seconds of the second half to seal the match 21-17. The win sees PNG finish 3rd in Pool C and taking on Wales in the Challenge Quarter Finals on Day 3. Himah Alu spoke after the match saying, “it felt pretty good to get a win finally after being up against the two top teams in the world, especially taking the win with a try at full time.”
William Tirang during PNG's win over Spain (Photo: Mark Evans)
Pool A saw New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa pitted against each other. New Zealand came into a battle for top billing in the Pool with Fiji after keeping Russia and Samoa scoreless this weekend. It was a close low scoring match that saw Fiji come out victors in a final play 2 minutes after time was up 19-17. Jerry Tuwai, Fiji, spoke after the match noting, “we have come a long way, but we haven’t won a tournament since Hong Kong last year. We have been working hard on our defence back home. New Zealand is a very hard time to beat so I am very proud of the boys. Tomorrow is another day and we will now focus on the quarter final”.
Samoa faced off with Russia looking for their first win of the weekend. Desperate defence from Russia denied Samoa an early try however the Manu were quick to fight back taking a solid win 26-12 to finish 3rd in Pool A which will see them face Canada in the Challenge Quarter Final tomorrow.
James Stannard in action against Canada (Photo: Matt King)
Rounding out the Oceania Teams was the home side Australia starting the day with a comfortable win over Canada 27-5. The second last match of the day saw the Aussies face off with Scotland, who needed a win to make the Cup quarter finals. Jesse Parahi opened the scoring which was easily converted by James Stannard, Lachlan Anderson quickly followed with a try of his own. With a number of changes in the lead it looked like Australia might give Scotland a ticket to the Cup Quarter Finals before Tom Lucas went over with 30 secs to go. With one play to go Tom Connor received a Yellow card to giving Scotland a last-ditch attempt which was not enough seeing Australia take the win 24-21. Australia will now meet New Zealand in the Cup Quarter Final on Day 3.
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