Papua New Guinea thump Wales in World Cup – highlights & report

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Highlights: Papua New Guinea 50-6 Wales

Wales were thrashed 50-6 by Papua New Guinea in their opening game of the World Cup in Port Moresby.

David Mead scored a hat-trick as the rampant hosts ran in 10 tries, while Regan Grace claimed Wales’ only try with the last play of the game.

Only the winners of Pool C, which also features Ireland, will qualify for the quarter-finals.

“I didn’t think we performed well in any aspect of rugby league today,” said coach John Kear.

“It’s been a very harsh lesson.”

Wales have not won at the World Cup since they beat PNG in 2000.

Australia beat England 18-4 in the tournament opener on Friday, while New Zealand are currently playing Samoa in Auckland and Fiji meet the United States in Townsville, Australia at 10:40 GMT.

In 29C heat and roared on by the passionate fans of the only nation in the world for whom rugby league is the national sport, PNG scored two early tries through the impressive Mead.

Nene Macdonald also went over and Rhyse Martin added the game’s first extras.

The game was stopped briefly when Wales’ Ben Evans claimed he was bitten on a finger in a tackle by Wellington Albert. Referee Ben Cummins put the allegation on report, to be investigated after the match.

Kato Ottio went clear before Garry Lo sent Albert through following a cross-field run, Minoga also struck and Rhyse Martin went over twice after the break.

Olam gathered Martin’s grubber to cross before Mead completed his hat-trick, and Paul Aiton capped a dominant display before Courtney Davies converted Grace’s consolation for Wales.

Kear said: “The southern hemisphere fellas really do carry the ball very aggressively and, if you don’t stand up to that, you end up getting rolled and losing field position.

“We just never got any opportunity to attack. I’ve got to compliment them, but people will now probably see how to handle them. We didn’t do it very well.”

Watch highlights of Saturday’s games on BBC One at 13:15 BST.

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Papua New Guinea greeted Wales in traditional fashion
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A Papua New Guinea fan displays his support in colourful style

What next?

Papua New Guinea play Ireland in Port Moresby on Sunday, 5 November (06:00 GMT), while Wales face Fiji – who are in Group D – in Townsville (08:30).

Papua New Guinea: David Mead (capt), Justin Olam, Kato Ottio, Nene Macdonald, Garry Lo, Ase Boas, Watson Boas, Stanton Albert, Wartovo Puara, Luke Page, Rhyse Martin, Willie Minoga, Paul Aiton. Interchange: Kurt Baptiste, Wellington Albert, James Segeyaro, Enock Maki.

Wales: Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Michael Channing, Andrew Gay, Regan Grace, Courtney Davies, Matt Seamark, Craig Kopczak (capt), Steve Parry, Philip Joseph, Rhodri Lloyd, Chester Butler, Morgan Knowles. Interchange: Ben Morris, Matty Fozard, Sam Hopkins, Ben Evans.

Referee: Ben Cummins.

What Next?

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