Ireland’s world cup campaign took a major step back Saturday as they went down 14-6 to Papua New Guinea in Port Moseby. Watson Boas scored the winner 2 minutes from time, in a game which PNG had dominated for large periods.
Ireland had opened the scoring through Wigan Hooker Michael McLlorum, but from then on PNG moved up a gear and showed they could be a force to be dark horses for a semi-final spot, with some powerful direct running causing mayhem in the Ireland defence which lead to tries from winger Garry Lo and centre Nene McDonald. This would have been a much higher score line only for the homes sides willingness to push unnecessary passes and slack ball control consistently letting the Irish team out of ‘Jail’ making it 8-6 at the break.
In the second half, Ireland started to regroup and found some territory that allowed them to apply some pressure on the PNG side, but Louie McCarthy Scarsbrick was unable to ground the ball following up on a neat kick into the in goal.
From their PNG walked straight up the other end and had a try of their own disallowed for a forward pass, and the score stayed the same until Boas, pounced on some sloppy Ireland handling, he kicked the ball up field and won the footrace grounded the ball next to the posts to give PNG pole position for the quarter final place against Group A runners up, which should be England.
Elsewhere Wales were officially knocked out of the world cup with a game remining after two more dreadful performances provided very lob sided score lines, while the Scots also took a hammering they still must win this week to have any chance of progressing!
Scotland went down 74-6 to tournament 2nd favourites New Zealand, in a completely different game to last season’s 14 all draw between the two teams, while Wales fell to their worst ever World cup defeat losing 72-6 to Fiji on Sunday morning. Next up for Scotland is Samoa while Wales will take on Ireland.