PNG Mozzies dominate to earn MCG shot at title
Tuesday, August 19 2014 @ 01:15 pm ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
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.
PNG: 4.0 6.0 7.3 12.3 (75)
New Zealand: 0.0 2.2 4.2 4.4 (28)
PNG: Pirika 3, Ikupu 2, Soong , Siwee, Simon, Beno, Aisi, Gavuri, Yogomin
New Zealand: Inglis 2, Morton , Mundell
PNG: Ikupu, James Lavai, Peni, Simon, Namete, Gavuri
New Zealand: Howison, Boyce, Millerm Harris, Inglis, Baker-Thomas