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2021 RLWC Round 3, PNG Kumuls 36 Wales 0 – Report

Shannon Meyer has the low down on the PNG Kumuls win which secures a knockout final against England.

SCOREBOARD

PNG Kumuls 36
Tries: Nixon Putt 2 (11, 46) Jimmy Ngutlik 2 (23, 76) Kyle Laybutt (7)  Dan Russell (29)
Goals: Rhyse Martin 6 (8, 12, 24, 30, 47, 78)

Wales 0

MATCH REPORT

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PNG will face England in the knockout stages of the Rugby League World Cup with a comfortable 36-0 win over a determined Wales side on a wet night in Doncaster.

An error by Wales on the third play of the match gave the Kumuls a chance to score early but that was wasted as a loose ball rolled over the sidelines. They blew another chance a few minutes later with a Jimmy Ngutlik break leading to a dropped ball. 

PNG did eventually cross through Kyle Laybutt. The Kumuls five-eighth shaped to pass the ball to a long right-side attack, but threw a dummy and split the Wales defence and score. Rhyse Martin converted for a 6-0 lead.

After Wales kicked out on the full from the restart allow the Kumuls to extend their lead when Nixon Putt crashed over from close range. Martin converted for 12-0.

PNG scored thanks to the evasive speed of Ngutlik. The PNG winger split the Welsh middle defence, then poured on the speed for the next 60 metres to score. Ngutlik a good back-up out of NSW Cup side Western Suburbs Magpies, after PNG lost their two preferred wingers.

Dan Russell extended the Kumuls lead after he powered through the Wales to stretch out and score. Martin made it four from four conversions for a 24-0 lead which they held at the main break.

The heavy rain continued as the second half kicked off, and the first minutes were dominated by errors. 

Eventually the Kumuls ball and territory was too much for the Welsh defence, and it was Putt who scored his second try after powering through the Wales wall close to the line. An easy conversion for Martin made it 30-0.

Ngutlik’s second try of the match was the Kumuls sixth of the evening after he swooped on an attacking kick to score. Martin made it a perfect night with the boot with his sixth conversion.

PNG were scrappy in the conditions. They face England in the knockout and given the form of the English in this World Cup so far, you’d give the Kumuls zero chance. But let’s not forget that PNG beat a similarly strong Great Britain Lions in 2019, and this World Cup has been shy on a big upset so far.

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