Contributed by: Michael Christiansen
With the new AFL South Pacific and Oceania junior talent pathway structure now seeing first the Oceania tournament held last December (for Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomons, Fiji and Nauru) ; and the next step being the South Pacific Cup where the Oceania combine takes on the regional powers of PNG and NZ; it is a watershed moment now that the inaugural South Pacific Cup has kicked off on Monday at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville
Monday (April 8): Day 1 started today with 3 terrific games of football between PNG, NZ & Oceania (Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Nauru). PNG were in control of both of their games and look like the team to beat!
Game 1: Papua New Guinea 5-8-38 Def New Zealand 1-1-7 Goal Kickers: PNG – Siwee 2 Gavuri 2 Savere 1 NZ – Middleton 1 Best Players: PNG – Siwee, Gavuri, Lavong, Severe, J.Tirang, Nawi, John, B.Tirang NZ – Phillips, Mason, Brunel, Riddell, Clark * PNG jumped NZ early with speed and tenacity to post a 5 goal lead. NZ steadied and showed they will be tough to beat during the rest of the week with their tall’s standing up to take some much needed contested marks.
Game 2: Papua New Guinea 5-3-33 Def Oceania 2-1-13 Goal Kickers: PNG – Siwee 3 Nawi 1 Rai 1 Oceania – Tuvasu 1 Maaki 1 Best Players: PNG – Siwee, Nawi, Rai, Lavong, Rau, Kembu, Ekari, B.Tirang Oceania – Ramo, Havea, Waqu, Taulani, Generogo, Dagiaro * Terrifically close game between these 2 sides for the first half and most of the second. PNG’s finishing skills and polish stood out at the end to hold back a fighting Oceania side. Oceania played a great game and fought their way to the end.
Game 3: Oceania 1-5-11 Drew New Zealand 1-5-11 Goal Kickers: Oceania – Havea 1 NZ – Hunia 1 Best Players: Oceania – Nabangamiala, Dagiaro, Taufoou, Bonga, Sablon, Foilape, Sailo NZ – Riddell, Phillips, Fifita, Ngata, Albert * Very close game all the way to the end with NZ kicking a goal in the last minute to draw the game. The game was very close with the NZ tall’s taking big grabs and the Oceania running players moving the ball from end to end. By the end with both teams getting tired the game ended in a draw.
Article courtesy of AFL Pacific
World Footy News