Papua New Guinea are through to the Women's World Cup knockout stage for the first time in history, after a commanding second-half performance saw them down Brazil 70-0.
Powerhouse centre Belinda Gwasamun was in devastating form for the Orchids, running in four tries on a night in which she broke 18 tackles and clocked 282 metres in yardage gained.
While Brazil did themselves no favours with their expansive style of play in torrid conditions in Hull, they stuck with the Orchids in the first half to trail just 18-0, but had no answer for what happened over the ensuing 40 minutes.
The Orchids crossed for 10 tries in the second half resulting in 52 points, with their powerful running through the middle proving far too much for Brazil to handle.
With their passage to the knockout stages secure, the Orchids will now close out group play with a clash against England, which will decide who claims top spot out of Group A.
Match: Papua New Guinea v Brazil
Round 2 -
Papua New Guinea
Venue: MKM Stadium, Hull
- In their second World Cup appearance the Orchids are through to the knockout stages for the first time, regardless of the result of their final group game against England.
- Centre Belinda Gwasamun was at times untouchable, scoring four tries and rolling through the Brazil defence.
- Dragons NRLW prop Elsie Albert was huge for PNG, running for 245 metres and busting through 16 tackles.
- Brazil lost halfback Byanca Santa Rita to a failed head injury assessment 10 minutes into the game, before Giovanna Barth left the field for one which she failed just before the break. Both players will miss the remainder of the tournament.
- Gwasamun and Tara Moxon went over for PNG in the opening 15 minutes, before a wayward pass from a scrum gifted Anika Butler the Orchids' third try.
- Gwasamun then secured an early double, and Lilah Malabag's first conversion of the night gave her side an 18-0 lead at the break.
Gwasamun wins player of the match
- Powerful runs from Albert and Jessikah Reeves came in the opening five minutes of the second half, with Sera Koroi adding another to make it 36-0.
- Koroi then turned provider with a clever cross-field kick to send Gwasamun over for her third.
- Moxon's second, Gwasamun's fourth and further strikes from Shirley Joe and
Martha Molowia followed.
- Lilah Malabag then scored a try which she converted to help take her personal tally for the night to 18 points, before Therese Aiton crossed for her side's 14th and final try.
- Brazil completed just 48 percent of their sets and had only 35 percent of the possession.
Play of the Game
A try which summed up Papua New Guinea's second half. Jessikah Reeves was simply too strong and too quick for the Brazilian defence, steaming through the middle for a memorable four-pointer.
What They Said
"Very happy. Keeping them to zero was the main objective at half-time. They executed quite well and very happy for them. Our best team will go on the paddock [against England]." - Papua New Guinea coach Ben Jeffries.
"I think the girls will be really beating themselves up. We had probably 20 minutes where they did exactly the opposite of what we asked them to... I think it'll be a strong lesson for them. They kept battling to the end." - Brazil coach Paul Grundy.
Papua New Guinea are through, but who they will play in the semifinals remains up in the air for now, with their final group match against England, and results from Group B to dictate their knockout opponent.
Brazil will hunt their first ever World Cup win against Canada in their final game of the tournament.