The National, Wednesday October 30th, 2013
PAPUA New Guiinea will be without Paul Aiton for the match against Samoa on Tuesday morning (PNG time).
The 28-year-old was given a one-match suspension by an international match review panel yesterday for a high tackle on France’s Morgan Escare in the 76th minute of the Rugby League World Cup Group B match against the Kumuls at Craven Park, Hull, last Sunday.
Aiton’s omission is another blow to Adrian Lam’s outfit still reeling from the 9-8 loss to the Tricolores and costing PNG a spot in the top eight.
But this was not unexpected as Lam said on Monday he was prepared for the worst.
“Paul’s on report for the shot on the French fullback. We’ll find out in the next 24 hours what the ruling is but more than likely he’s looking at a suspension,” Lam said.
Aiton, who started the game at hooker, shared the role with Ray Thompson and Charlie Wabo while also contributing as a running forward. But Aiton may not be the only loss for PNG, Lam said other players had picked up injuries from the match and would be assessed later in the week.
“Dion Aiye, Paul Aiton and Richard Kambo all suffered corks (deep muscle bruising) to their legs and Nene McDonald hyper extended an elbow so we have a few walking wounded but we’ll see how they pull up this week.”