Papua New Guinea have secured a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals after beating Wales 36-0 in Doncaster on Tuesday.
In driving rain, PNG crossed over in just seven minutes through five-eighth Kyle Laybutt, and from there the Kumuls piled on five more tries, with doubles to Nixon Putt and young-gun Jimmy Ngutlik.
It was clear from the kick-off that the Kumuls were determined to book their quarter-final spot, scoring two converted tries in the first 11 minutes through five-eighth Kyle Laybutt and Putt.
Papua New Guinea went further ahead in the 23rd minute when 21-year-old Jimmy Ngutlik put the burners on to break Wales' line and run over 60 metres to score his first try for the Kumuls.
Too big and too strong, PNG went over again in the second half, with interchange Dan Russell finishing off some crisp ball movement from close range to stretch over the stripe and extend PNG's advantage 24-0 at the break.
The opening of the second stanza saw some desperate defence by Wales but weight of possession eventually saw the Kumuls cement their lead with Putt bulldozing his way through Welsh defenders to score his second for the night.
The wild conditions looked to take their toll in the final stages of the match, with a string of costly errors from both sides, but Papua New Guinea had the final say with four minutes to play, when a high ball bounced perfectly for Ngutlik to finish with a double.
Match: Papua New Guinea v Wales
Round 3 -
Papua New Guinea
Venue: Eco-Power Stadium, Doncaster
- Wales interchange Chester Butler left the field in the 61st minute for a HIA after clashing with PNG centre Justin Olam.
- PNG produced 708 post-contact metres while Wales finished with 516.
- The Kumuls were also well ahead with line breaks, with six for their side compared to Wales with one.
- Commitment in defence proved a big difference between the two nations, with PNG missing 25 tackles and Wales 52.
- PNG skipper Rhys Martin had a 100 per cent conversion rate, kicking six goals from six attempts.
- The last time the two sides met in 2017 Papua New Guinea defeated Wales 50-6 in Port Moresby.
- Jimmy Ngutlik is the nephew of former Papua New Guinea World Cup players Israel Eliab and Wartovo Puara.
- PNG have finished the round games as Group D runners-up to Tonga and will play England in their quarter-final on Saturday.
Play of the Game
Jimmy Ngutlik - remember the name, because he could be a huge threat for the Kumuls against England on Saturday. In just his second game in the PNG colours, the 21-year-old flyer announced himself to the competition with a 60-metre runaway try in the opening stanza. The Cairns product had fans on their feet in Doncaster, producing speed and poise as he danced around would-be Wales defenders.
What They Said
"This a good group of guys. We'll certainly dust ourselves off, show a bit of pride, and get ready for whatever comes up next year." - Wales coach John Kear
"Look we had a plan to do well in the pool stages and get through to the quarterfinals and we've done that so we'll go back and work hard again. We defended more sets in the second half there but credit to the boys they defended their try line there for a long time. So that means they're playing for each other which is a good sign. We respect the past players and squads but this team really has a good feeling about it. - PNG coach Stanley Tepend
The win sets Papua New Guinea up for a quarterfinal clash against England on Saturday. While Wales will head home, having failed to pick up a win at the tournament.