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PNG Mozzies dominate to earn MCG shot at title

International Cup 2014

PNG dominated NZ from start to finish to win their semi-final match against the Hawks. The final margin was 47 points after PNG lead by just 19 points at three quarter time. Amua Pirika kicked three goals for the match while John Ikipu was best on ground with a dominating ruck performance and kicking two goals of his own.  PNG are through to their 5th International Cup from 5 starts.  So far they are 1 from 4.

Many thought NZ were favourites to take out IC14 going into this match. Their development setup has delivered a great deal of talent in recent years coming through from teens to adults. Add that to regular representative matches against Academy and rep teams such as the VAFA and it is a very solid base of experienced footy they have under their belt. They also have looked improved in the lead up matches to today’s semi-final. And PNG while also having a long running junior development system that delivers plenty of talent, they were upset in their previous match losing narrowly to South Africa. They only just managed to get into the semi finals by having the best percentage of the teams on 2 wins, 1 loss.

But from the start today PNG dominated. Notable big John Ikipu in the ruck was a driving force that continually got PNG off on the right foot. And even when he didn’t win the PNG onballers were able to mop up and move the ball forward. Amua Pirika and Gideon Simon had goals on the board before the NZ Hawks could blink. Ty Smith battled hard in the ruck and Jared Court tried to stem the tide but the Mozzies kept on coming. Jason Soong added a goal and Amua Pirik kicked his second to give his team a four goal to nil lead at quarter time.

NZ got their first score but unfortunately only a behind. Christopher Mundell started to look dangerous up forward and the NZ midfielders were working the ball around the boundary mostly before centring the ball up to their big men. On the turnover Siwee goaled for PNG, before Mundell added NZ’s first and Inglis who was coming into the game added a second. Gideon Simon steadied the ship with a goal to give PNG a 22 point lead going into half time.
Finally in the third term NZ came out to play. Howison seemed to be everywhere and gave his team great drive, Morton and Mundell kept the PNG defenders busy but they were able to minimise the impact. Morton and Inglis both goalled for NZ rewarding their hard work but Aisi added one for PNG amongst three behinds from set shots. NZ had pegged the lead back to 19 points and looked like they would mount a charge in the last quarter. 
But if any charging would be done it would be by PNG. When Pirika added the first goal of the quarter after smothering the NZ kick and running around three defenders, then nailing the goal from point blank range, that was the first nail in the coffin.  Howison had an early shot to give the Hawks a last chance at a comeback but the ball went for a behind. PNG were happy to take it easy allowing the ball to go over the boundary or chip it around to eat up time but still managed to add more goals through Ikipu, Beno, Gavuri and Yogomin. While NZ looked good in patches with good input from Baker-Thomas and Harris there was just too much to do.
PNG will go in underdogs against Ireland on Saturday in the Grand Final at the MCG and it seems that’s the way they like it.

PNG: 4.0 6.0 7.3 12.3 (75)

New Zealand: 0.0 2.2 4.2 4.4 (28)

Goal kickers

PNG: Pirika 3, Ikupu 2, Soong , Siwee, Simon, Beno, Aisi, Gavuri, Yogomin

New Zealand: Inglis 2, Morton , Mundell

Best players

PNG: Ikupu, James Lavai, Peni, Simon, Namete, Gavuri

New Zealand: Howison, Boyce, Millerm Harris, Inglis, Baker-Thomas

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PNG Mozzies dominate to earn MCG shot at title | 1 comments | Create New Account
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PNG Mozzies dominate to earn MCG shot at title
Authored by: tinka13 on Friday, August 22 2014 @ 05:27 am ACST

Congratulations PNG on a very good win - it looks like the NZ boys need to refine their skills?