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(Note: Fiji is + 2 hours AEST)
The PNG side played their hearts out despite having played a tough clash less than 24 hours earlier against Fiji in the World League Series Round One final. After giving them a tough challenge Papua New Guinea lost their OPC 3rd place playoff match 9-5 to New Zealand Maori.
“We weren’t expecting that five goals against New Zealand.” New Zealand Maori captain Dean Hawley applauded PNG for putting up a good fight. “They really gave us a good fight. We weren’t expecting that five goals from them,” Hawley quipped.
The Kiwis opened the scoring in the 4th minute to Sam Hewett from a penalty corner. One of the two New Zealand under-18s in the Maori side Connor Herewini extended their lead six minutes later with the first of his two goals from a field goal. His brother Jury extended the Maoris lead to 3 nothing in the 14th minute.
PNG’s Raymond Popal brought the Kiwis back to earth scoring from a field goal to make it 3-1. The Kiwis scored in succession through Royden Burt (28) and NZ under-18 rep Owen Mitai Wells (34) but it was Popal who scored his and PNG’s second goal on the 35th minute mark.
Halftime: NZ Maori 5, PNG 2.
New Zealand’s second half goals were scored by Hewett (38), Jury (45), Connor (57) and Hawley (62). PNG’s three second half goals were slotted in by Michael Potuan (52), Sosongan Polaiap (68) and Popal (69).