The National – Friday, December 17, 2010
By EKONIA PENI
THE AFL PNG Junior Aussie rules team have won all their matches with an exceptional performance at the second Oceania Cup tournament in Tonga.
Other teams competing for the Oceania Cup are New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga, and the Boomerangs, an Australia Indigenous team.
PNG did not send a team to the first Oceania Cup in Fiji last year.
The 25-man team is accompanied by officials Walter Yangomina (coach), Tristan Tancredi (manager) and Pint Kar (trainer) who quietly departed Port Moresby for Nukualofa last Sunday via Sydney and Nadi (Fiji) the following day.
The PNG juniors played their first match against the Oceania Cup champions New Zealand on Tuesday and thrashed the Kiwis 8.9 (57) to 1.0 (6).
The young Mosquitoes backed up in their second match on Wednesday by crushing Solomon Islands 11.9 (75) to 1.1 (7).
The Mozzies played a second match on the same day against a combined Samoa and Vanuatu side which they promptly dispatched 11.7 (73) to 2.4 (16) in another powerful display easily earning the championship’s favourites tag.
In their fourth match yesterday against Nauru, PNG again were in another class thumping the plucky Micronesians 10.4 (64) to 0.1 (1).
PNG have looked virtually unbeatable in matches thus far and today they play Fiji before facing hosts Tonga tomorrow.
Given their form at the tournament, the PNG U16s are expected to play in the final on Sunday.
The Pacific Islanders (including PNG) will then combine to play a strong Boomerangs side tomorrow which thrashed Oceania 24.16 (160) to 2.4 (16) at last year’s tournament.
The team will return home on Tuesday hopefully with the spoils of victory.