Flames fall short against US


THE Papua New Guinea Flames went down to the US in the second round of the AFL International Cup in a physical, bruising encounter at Royal Park yesterday.
The PNG women battled hard but were beaten 2.3 (15) to 5.12 (42) by the Freedom.
The Flames were buoyed by the arrival of their inspirational coach Jonathan Ila from PNG, but were put on the back foot early as the Americans brought their physical game and looked to overpower their smaller, lighter PNG opponents in tackling and marking contests.
The Flames refused to be intimidated with Brigid Gaur — the smallest player on the ground — playing a huge tackle on the towering USA ruckman.
Flames captain Prudence Sindriwen was honest in her appraisal of her team’s performance: “In the first half we weren’t switched on and we were second to the ball. We came back in the last quarter but we left it too late, the game was already gone by then.
“It was a hard match against tough opponents, but the girls tried their best.  We just needed to keep the ball lower when kicking, and to use our run and carry to move the ball better.  I thought Alphonsa Bai played well with her leaping and spoiling, and her long kicking.”
Goal scorers for PNG were Maureen Bauwase and Fatima Sovara while Anita Warambina, Bai, Vaine Lai sustained injuries with Warambina ruled out of the Flames next match with a medial collateral ligament (knee) injury.
The Flames play Ireland on Sunday in the third round of IC17 and are hoping for an improved start.

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