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Australian PM’s XIII Men beat spirited PNG PM’s XIII Men

The Australian Prime Minister’s XIII Men’s side proved far too strong in the end, but had to work hard at times for a 64-14 victory over their Papua New Guinea counterparts on Sunday night. 

Matt Burton and Selwyn Cobbo both scored doubles in a game which saw 10 different members of the Australian PM's XIII Men score tries. 

While they couldn't match the skill and execution of their opponents at Suncorp Stadium, the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII Men fought valiantly and finished the game with an 87 percent completion rate. 

Much of the damage inflicted by the hosts was done inside the opening 35 minutes, a period in which they scored seven tries, which became 38 points thanks to the accurate boot of Zac Lomax.

Cobbo scores

Twenty four hours after the man most likely to rival him for the Kangaroos' No.7 jersey, Nathan Cleary, guided his side to the Telstra Premiership Grand Final, Daly Cherry-Evans showed his class setting up a pair of tries and kicking well in general play. 

Another performance likely to have pleased coach Mal Meninga was that of Titans big man Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, who all-but secured his plane ticket to England with an energetic showing.

Lomax scores

Among the first-half highlights was a powerful four-pointer from Cobbo, and a classy hit back from the PNG PM’s XIII Men, who got on the board after a looping cut-out pass from one-time Cowboys half Kyle Laybutt sent Edene Gebbie over for a try in the corner. 

PNG go 1,2,3

Down 38-0 at one stage, the visiting side scored three unanswered tries between the 39th and 54th minute to claw back on the scoreboard. 

But a late flurry of points saw the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII Men run out 50-point winners. 

Match snapshot

  • The Australian Prime Minister’s XIII Men’s side ran in 12 tries, with centre Zac Lomax converting eight of them. 
  • Skipper Daly Cherry-Evans put Roosters back-rower Nat Butcher through a gap for the first try.
  • A failed attempt at an intercept by the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII Men resulted in the ball being tipped into the hands of Josh Addo-Carr for the second, before Angus Crichton added another three minutes later.
  • Tries to Zac Lomax and Matt Burton followed, with Lomax continuing his perfect night with the boot to give his side a 30-0 lead. 
  • Selwyn Cobbo monstered the defence for a try, followed by a four-pointer to Jake Averillo, to stretch the lead to 38-0.

Averillo scores with almost his first touch

  • Edene Gebbie kicked off a mini revival for his side just before half-time, grabbing a nice cut-out pass from Kyle Laybutt to score and make it 38-4 at the break.
  • Tries to Jimmy Ngutlik and Brandon Nima followed for the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII Men, as they reduced the gap to 34-14 with 20 minutes to play. 
  • A second four-pointer for Burton was followed by tries to Daine Laurie, Beau Fermor and Selwyn Cobbo blew the final scoreline out. 

Laurie gets a try

  • The Australian PM's XIII Men's 1,774 run metres was almost double that of their opponents (982 metres). 
  • Zev John left field for a HIA which he later failed midway through the first half.

Play of the game

A great pass from Kyle Laybutt created an opportunity for Edene Gebbie out wide, but the former Rabbitohs squad member still had plenty of work to do once he got the ball. After shaking off a would-be tackle from Josh Addo-Carr, Gebbie finished despite the attention of Selwyn Cobbo in the corner. 

Gebbie goes in for PNG

What's next

The likes of Daly Cherry-Evans, Ben Hunt and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui are almost certain to be included in Mal Meninga's World Cup squad, while a large portion of the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII Men are likely to travel to England with the Kumuls as well. 


Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.