‘Can’t believe it’: Bennett’s 29-year horror
Papua New Guinea have claimed one of the great rugby league's upsets as the side has taken an unbelievable 28-10 win to end Great Britain's tour from hell in Port Moresby.
A fortnight after Australia lost to Tonga in arguably the greatest boilover in Test football history, the Kumuls have been inspired to their own incredible slice of history.
After 21 minutes, Great Britain seemed to be in control with a 10-0 lead.
It was almost the same score they took into the break, until Edwin Ipape ran out of dummy half and sprinted 65m out of dummy half.
But since the break, it was all PNG as the Kumuls piled on another four tries in quick succession to lead 28-10 after 64 minutes.
PNG came out firing in the second half, putting three straight on Great Britain!— FOX LEAGUE (@FOXNRL) November 16, 2019
📺Catch it live on Fox League NOW! pic.twitter.com/uVWGW7nyew
PNG have the likes of NRL players in Alex Johnson, David Mead, Juston Olam and Rhyse Martin but aren't a star-studded team.
In fact, the team only contains a handful of full-time players.
Shockingly, Papua New Guinea have defeated Great Britain in the past, winning in 20-18 in a match in 1990 in Goroka.
But it's been a long time between drinks for the side, with that the last time the side had defeated one of the top tier teams in Australia, New Zealand or England.
They have never defeated Australia or England, but have claimed one win out of 18 against New Zealand on the back of a 24-22 result at the 1986 World Cup.
The side rode their luck with inspirational Great Britain captain James Graham knocked out from the first tackle of the game.
Social media was stunned as the Kumuls continued the rapid growth of the Pacific game.
Im seeing it but I honestly can’t believe it!!PNG bearing Great Britain 18-10 with 25 mins to go! Wooooooow!!— Mark Geyer (@markMGgeyer) November 16, 2019
What a carve up in Port Moresby. First PNG win against Australia/NZ/GB for 29 years— Dan Ginnane (@DanGinnane) November 16, 2019
This Great Britain team should be banned from international rugby league and made to play QCup or something ... they’ve been woeful.— Nick McGrath (@nickmcgrath4) November 16, 2019
Also, is this the George Williams Canberra has signed? 😳💩
Go Kumuls #PNGvGB
On the other side of the coin, it looks like the end of the tenure of Wayne Bennett as Great Britain coach.
Great Britain reportedly weren't looking to boot Bennett from the job and insisted, win or lose, there will be no knee-jerk reaction.
But after a loss, the calls have already started for the supercoach's head.
The @PNG_Kumuls have been outstanding today and it's hard not to be pleased for them. From our point of view, the only consolation is that we'll surely now be looking for a new @England_RL coach. Every cloud has a silver lining.— Martyn Sadler (@MartynSadler) November 16, 2019
It leaves Great Britain suffering a fourth straight defeat on this tour after the return of the brand after a 12-year absence.
Bennett's contract with the Rugby Football League runs out after Saturday's game in Port Moresby.
South Sydney Rabbitohs and England mentor Bennett, who turns 70 on New Year's Day, has consistently spoken of his desire to take England into the 2021 World Cup, although he admitted in the post-match press conference in Christchurch last Saturday that the national team had taken a backward step.
"I've not spoken to him since the press conference but certainly when I left, he was very positive about the job going forward," English RFL chief executive Rimmer said.
"We'll do a debrief once the tour has finished and not before. I won't pre-empt the outcome but what I will say is don't forget what Wayne has achieved as a coach.
"The review won't be purely on the playing side, there's all sorts of elements of the tour that we need to consider.
"That wrap will take place in December and the executive will make some recommendations to be put to the board early next year."
The result continued a historic day for PNG with the women's team winning their first ever game with a 20-17 win over Great Britain before the men's game.
- with AAP
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