The 2015 Pacific Games Mixed Team silver medalists completed a hat-trick in 2019 to win the gold medal in the Mixed Team Division for complete dominance of this week’s touch rugby competition.
They have successfully defended their Men’s and Women’s titles from the 2015 Games with the win in Mixed Teams completing their dominance.
They did so in the deciding clash with Samoa, who were defending Mixed Team champions from the 2015 Pacific Games, though they trailed at the end of the first half.
Samoa played mercilessly from the first whistle ending the half with a 2 point lead - even though PNG entered the final undefeated in pool play.
Into the second stanza and it was business as usual for the host country penetrating PNG’s defence line to score three consecutive tries to expand their lead to 8-3.
But PNG showed their championship class and regrouped playing catch up footy taking the game to Samoa right to last 30 seconds when they crossed for a miraculous try to steal the gold in dramatic fashion and the closest of margins.
The final score - PNG 10, Samoa 9.
“It’s unbelievable,” says Peter Hazelman who played for Samoa with his twin brother Gregory in the finals. “Tough luck, but that’s sports.”
While his team may have cemented their superiority winning all the competition’s gold medals, PNG’s team Manager Toua Kohu says that their host won the heart of the competition.
“Samoa has shown their true sportsmanship,” says Koua. “They played their tactical game, superbly. And even though they lost, they have earned the respect of every team and player especially our guys.”
Cook Islands are the bronze medalists after edging Fiji in their contest 9-5.
Samoa end the Touch competition in second place overall with three silver medals.
Photo Pacific Games News. Caption: Showers didn't dampen the spirits after a magnificent Mixed Touch finals day