NEW Zealand scored a 76-12 victory over the Telikom Papua New Guinea Kumuls in Rotorua on Saturday.
There was little for captain Paul Aiton to take from the 64-point loss heading into the PNG’s final match against England next week in Auckland.
The 14-try rout equalled PNG’s record 64-0 loss to the Kiwis at the same venue in 1996.
Although the Kumuls managed to score two tries back to back, coincidently when Kiwi skipper Benji Marshall left the field in the 51st minute, it was very much a flash in the pan for the overmatched visitors.
Tries to Menzie Yere and Glen Nami gave the PNG fans something cheer about on a forgettable afternoon.
Yere scored PNG’s first points of the tournament when he stepped past several defenders to stroll in untouched in the 54th minute.
Nami’s four-pointer came about from a Charlie Wabo chip and regather on halfway before off-loading to a supporting Ryan Tongia, who then drew Kiwi fullback Lance Hohaia, before passing to Nami for PNG’s second try.
PNG centre Jessie Joe Parker came close to grounding a grubber into the in-goal but the ball was ruled to have already gone dead.
The Kiwis were almost unstoppable out of dummy half with runners pinching ridiculously easy yardage up the middle while the Kumuls could not keep out the New Zealanders each time they got inside the PNG half.
Although PNG enjoyed more time with the ball (40% possession) and actually improved in some areas – namely set completions – they failed miserably to halt the opposition’s momentum.
Kumul enforcer Makali Aizue pulled off a bellringer on debutant prop Sam McKendry from a restart in the first half but apart from the odd hit, the Kumuls struggled to keep the Kiwis at bay.
Kiwis’ St George backrower Jeremy Smith grabbed a double while winger Sam Perrett and centre Junior Sau both scored hattricks.
PNG’s rightside defence was found wanting throughout the match gifting Perrett and Sau their bag of tries.
The remaining tries were scored by Isaac Luke, Simon Mannering, Sika Manu, Jason Nightingale, Greg Eastwood and Lance Hohaia.
The best for the Kumuls were Aiton, Yere, Nixon Kolo (off the bench) and Michael Mark.
The halftime score was 46-0.