Knights hold off Kumuls

Three unconverted tries were the difference as the England Knights won the first of the two game series against the PNG Kumuls.

Despite the unforgiving humidity, the Knights held off a Kumuls come back after taking an eight point lead in the first half.

Brendan Nima opened the scoring in 13th minute when Nene McDonald tapped back a Watson Boas fifth last kick to Nima to score in the right corner. Watson Boas missed the conversion giving Kumuls a 4 – 0 lead.

After a penalty against Nene McDonald for dangerous play, the Knights would score in the 21st minute when try scorer Nima allowed the ball to bounce in the in goal area  for Centre Liam Sutcliffe to score.

After kick-restrated, the Kumuls would regain the ball in Knights territory after taking the ball out of touch.

In the ensuing set, Edwin Ipape, would take on the line and offload to Moses Meninga, who make a lovely right step to run through and score next to the posts. The unconverted try saw the Kumuls lead 8 – 4.

The Knights would absorb the pressure and in the 30th minute, after Rhadley Brawa drops the ball cold in the Kumuls 20 metre, Knights winger Tom Lineham would score after Kumuls ran out of defenders on the left flank for a 10 – 8 lead. 

The Knights again showed some class when they found a 40-20 kick,  and Tom Davies would stroll over in the right hand corner for an easy try.  The conversion left the score at 16 – 8 going into half time.

The Kumuls opened the second half with aggression and after minutes of pressure Edwin Ipape would score off a Justin Olam run in the 50th minute. The missed conversion left the score at 16  - 12.

That was the Kumuls only consolation as the Knights held on.

Kumuls Assistant Coach, Stanley Tepend, said too many errors cost them the match and they would bounce back.

Picture credit: PNG Kumuls Facebook Page

Cedric Patjole