The Sunshine Coast Falcons produced one of their best performances of the season with their win against the PNG Hunters in Port Moresby last weekend.
While it was a team effort across the park to produce the upset, it was the Falcons forwards who really stood up for their team and Tui Kamikamica was the leader of the pack, leading the stats for runs and metres for the team.
When asked about being the first team to win PNG at home, the prop described it as an “awesome feeling”.
“That was one of the tightest games I've played in the season,” he said after the game.
“The Hunters are a very strong physical team and it’s good to get the win.
“Last week I didn't play so the coach was telling me to get the ball and run in the middle and that’s what I did for the team to be successful.”
After being soundly beaten by the Hunters last weekend, a new-look Falcons team had their revenge in the finals.
As well as the forwards, another standout performer was halfback Ryley Jacks who stole the show by scoring two tries and producing three try savers in which he injured himself when stripping the ball off a try-bound Timothy Lomai. He also he proved difficult for the opposition defence to handle.
“Our attitude was much different than last week, it was always going to be better as it’s final footy and (there’s) so much on the line,” Jacks said when asked about his performance.
As for his try-saving tackles he said: “I just put my body on the line; it’s finals footy”.
Straight after the game, Jacks admitted the fact his side had become the first to win in PNG this year was still sinking in.
“It has not sunken in me yet; I feel like crying to be honest,” he said.
“You think you can do it, you tell yourself you can do it; but actually (achieving) it was another thing – this crowd is just unreal!”
After beating the Hunters, the Falcons will this weekend play the Townsville Blackhawks in the second week of the finals.
As for PNG rugby league fans – although they were all disappointed to be knocked out in the finals again this year, they and the Hunters players and staff made a vow to accept defeat and move on.
A high number of the Hunters players will next feature in the Prime Minister's XIII match later this year representing PNG against a Greg Inglis-led Australia.