A first-half double to Kumuls debutant, Lachlan Lam, has inspired Papua New Guinea to a record 64-0 victory over the USA at Port Moresby Stadium.
Papua New Guinea posted their highest ever World Cup total, scoring at almost a point a minute in the opening half as their blistering attack terrorised the United State’s defence, busting through the line on 13 separate occasions.
Kumul’s second rower Rhyse Martin stared, as he slotted 10 from 11 conversions despite strong winds to ensure Papua New Guinea progress out of the group stages undefeated.
The win sets up a date with England for a place in the Quarter-Finals next week.
The win did come at cost for Papua New Guinea however, as Garry Lo was taken from the field early in the second half after injuring his ankle in a tackle.
With the wind at their back, USA kicked off to get the game underway and attempted to end the Papua New Guinean’s three game winning streak.
But after surviving an early onslaught from the Kumuls, the USA couldn’t hold them out for long as James Segeyaro put Lachlan Lam over for a try in his opening appearance for Papua New Guinea.
Segeyaro threw a dummy and broke through the Hawks line before drawing the fullback and offloading to Lam who pumped his fist in joy before putting the ball down and running in to celebrate with the crowd.
With the floodgates now open, Papua New Guinea started to apply the heat to the Americans who conceded two tries in two plays.
After a simple backline move, winger Justin Olam found himself with enough space on the flanks to crash over giving PNG a 10-0 lead in just 12 minutes.
The Kumuls then scored off the kick off when Moses Meninga made the initial line-break before offloading to James Segeyaro who streaked away to score under the posts.
PNG ran in three more tries before the half-time siren blew, including Lam’s second of the day as the USA headed into the sheds trailing 34-0.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, the Kumuls picked up where they left off in the first half taking only two minutes to find the try line.
Tries to Watson Boas, Nene Macdonald, and a hat-trick to Justin Olam, all inflated the Kumuls lead with Rhyse Martin having an exceptional day with the boot, slotting every conversion in the second half.
USA got close to points in the 73rd minute when fullback, Corey Makelim, looked certain to score before David Mead produced an amazing try-saving tackle to deny the USA of points.
The win means Papua New Guinea progress out of the group stages undefeated to face England next week.
As for the USA, their World Cup journey comes to an end as they will no doubt look forward to relaxing after PNG walked off the field triumphant, 64-0.
James Coman1 | @JamesComan1
Rugby League World Cup 2017 Reporter