The Pukpuks played their final game of the tournament this afternoon. It was a game for their taking, unfortunately due to avoidable mistakes and in particular the set piece teamed with unsuccessful line outs cost them the game to Zimbabwe, 38-11.
Coach Sydney Wesley said, “We started off well, there were certain moments where we should have held on. Our urgency was really poor. The team still could have played a lot better than we did today.”
Pukpuks centre, James Lumaris scored PNG’s only try in the firsthalf , followed by two successful penalties by Tissa Kautu and Jon Kent.
Kautu, who was replaced after a knock to the head missed out on the second half. His absence, affecting the backline’s performance.
“Tissa Kautu’s replacement had an impact in the backline – showing there was a lack of direction, it didn’t cost us the game, there was just a lapse in concentration,” said Wesley.
“I’m not taking away the fact that Zimbabwe is ranked 39 in the world. I still think, we could’ve won. Discipline was down. These are things that we’ve learnt – playing at this level”, said Wesley.
The secondhalf proved devastating for the Pukpuks, as a serious lack of urgency allowed the Zimbabweans to cross the line three times.
“Zimbabwe was a lot hungrier. Urgency and hunger wasn’t there for our boys. Going forward, there are a lot of areas we should work on. One of them is, having qualities game played every four days,” added Wesley.