The heat of Port Moresby was the venue as the Kumuls took on the Tomahawks looking the cement their place in the semi-finals.
A win for Papua New Guinea, much fancied by the bookies and pundits, would see them into a quarter final game, most likely against England. The ground was packed to the rafters with a deafening and partisan support hoping the cheer their side home.
On paper there was only one winner.
The USA rode their luck in the opening exchanges but the inevitable only took nine minutes as James Segayaro broke the Tomahawks line and fed debutant Lachlan Lam to run the final twenty metres to score. Rhys Martin added the extras from in front of the sticks.
Two minutes later Justin Olam took a low pass on the overlap right to dive low over the line to score. Martin failed with the touchline conversion into an almost impossible wind. The USA must have feared how heavy the loss would be.
Returning the kick off, on the first play, a rolling move downfield ended with Segayaro taking the pass to go thirty metres and dive over under the sticks. Martin added the conversion for 16-0.
Lam added his second on fifteen sidestepping past the USA defence to go in from twenty metres after taking a pass from Segayaro. Martin added the extras for 22-0 after just seventeen minutes.
Four minutes after the mid-half drinks break Watson Boas offloaded in the tackle five metres from the line and Rob Griffin took the pass to walk over the line for a simple score by the left upright. Martin added the conversion for 28-0.
The USA managed to stem the tide until a minute before the break when Stargroth Amean stepped through a broken Tomahawks line to go under the sticks. Martin added the extras as the hooter sounded for a 34-0 victory.
The Kumuls has the wind at their backs in the second half, it would be damage limitation for the USA.
An attacking USA grubber pick was picked up by full back David Mead on his own seventy and he stepped out of a tackle and sprinted downfield to score without a tackler getting within touching distance. Martin added the goal to bring up the PNG forty.
It was a much better second half defensive show by the Tomahawks, but just before the drinks break Amean broke brilliantly downfield and when finally tackled he offloaded to Boas to go the remaining twenty metres to score. Martin added the conversion for 46-0.
Seconds after the restart Nene McDonald took a Martin pass to run the angle and dive over to bring up the Kumuls half-century. Martin added the extra two from wide. On sixty-five Olam pushed off three attempted tackles as he got his second of the game, the Kumuls tenth. Martin added his ninth goal of the game, again from the touchline.
Corey Makelim should have opened the USA’s account on seventy-three but Mead held him up. PNG ran the ball right back at the USA and Olam ran the last thirty metres to grab his hat-trick. Martin added the extras with the boot for 64-0.
There were moment of decent defence from the Brian McDermott coached USA but they were no match for a PNG side who wanted to put on a real show for their home support before they take there World Cup quest to Australia in the quarter finals. The USA leave the competition on the back of three heavy defeats but a mightily impressive Kumuls will be looking for a big upset when they take on England in a weeks time.
Papua New Guinea: Mead (T), Olam (3T), Ottio, MacDonald (T), Lo, Lam (2T), W. Boas