2015 Pacific Rugby League Tests

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The 2015 Pacific Rugby League International was split into two games. The first was the Melanesian Cup between Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The second was the Polynesian Cup between Samoa and Tonga.

Results[edit]

Melanesian Cup[edit]

2015 (2015) Melanesian Cup  ()
12 Total
PNG Papua New Guinea colours.svg 010 10
FIJ Fijibaticolours.PNG 184 22
Date2 May 2015
StadiumCbus Super Stadium
LocationRobina, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Man of the MatchFiji Marika Koroibete
RefereesAustralia Matt Cecchin
Broadcast partners
Broadcasters
Commentators

On 24 December 2014 it was announced that Papua New Guinea would play Fiji and Samoa would play Tonga as part of a 2015 Pacific test double header. The 2015 Melanesian Cup was played between Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

With a half-time lead of 18 points, Fiji beat Papua New Guinea to win the Melanesian Cup title[1] by score of 22-10. Fiji's Marika Koroibete won the player of the match award, scoring 2 tries. Papua New Guinea has not won won a test-match on away soil since the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

Fiji picked 6 débutantes for the test match, while Papua New Guinea also featured six players making their first ever International appearance. Both teams had NRL, Queensland or New South Wales Cup, and domestic club players. Papua New Guinea's most experienced players were Nene MacDonald, Ray Thompson, and Tyson Martin making their 4th appearance, while Fiji's most experienced player was captain Jason Bukuya making his 10th appearance.

Papau New Guinea Hunters' Israel Eliab captained his team, and Cronulla's Jason Bukuya led Fiji.

Match details[edit]

2 May 2015
Papua New Guinea  10 – 22  Fiji
Try: Trnka 52'
S Albert 68' c
Goal: Damen (0/1)
Zeming (1/1) 69'
Video Try: Bukuya 20' c
Koroibete (2) 28' c, 34' c
Goodall 76'
Goal: Koroisau (3/3) 22', 29', 35'
Wiliame (0/1)
FB 1 Souths-Logan Magpies Colours.svg Josh Damen
WG 2 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Nene MacDonald
CE 3 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Thompson Teteh
CE 4 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Kato Ottio
WG 5 Souths-Logan Magpies Colours.svg Matt Trnka
FE 6 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Israel Eliab (c)
HB 7 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Noel Zeming
PR 8 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Stanton Albert
HK 9 North Queensland colours.svg Ray Thompson
PR 10 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Wellington Albert
SR 11 Rhyse Martin
SR 12 Mackay Cutters colours.svg Tyson Martin
LL 13 Canberra colours.svg Luke Page
Substitutions:
BE 14 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Wartovo Puara
BE 15 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Willie Minoga
BE 16 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Brandy Peter
BE 17 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Adam Korave
Coach:
Australia Mal Meninga
FB 1 Wests Tigers colours.svg Kevin Naiqama
WG 2 Melbourne colours.svg Marika Koroibete
CE 3 Parramatta colours.svg Fabian Goodall
CE 4 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Brayden Wiliame
WG 5 Illawarra colours.svg Eto Nabuli
FE 6 South Sydney colours.svg Daryl Millard
HB 7 Ryan Millard
PR 8 Eloni Vunakece
HK 9 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Apisai Koroisau
PR 16 Fijibaticolours.PNG Tikio Noke
SR 11 Cronulla colours.svg Jayson Bukuya (c)
SR 12 Newcastle colours.svg Jacob Saifiti
LK 13 Newcastle colours.svg Korbin Sims
Substitutions:
BE 10 Newcastle colours.svg Daniel Saifiti
BE 14 Canterbury colours.svg Tyrone Phillips
BE 15 North Queensland colours.svg Viliame Kikau
BE 17 Fijibaticolours.PNG Osea Sadrau
Coach:
Australia Rick Stone

Polynesian Cup[edit]

2015 (2015) Polynesian Cup  ()
12 Total
SAM Canterbury colours.svg 108 18
TON Tongamatemacolours.PNG 412 16
Date2 May 2015
StadiumCbus Super Stadium
LocationRobina, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Man of the MatchSamoa Sam Kasiano
RefereesAustralia Ben Cummins
Attendance12,336
Broadcast partners
Broadcasters
Commentators

On 24 December 2014 it was announced that Papua New Guinea would play Fiji and Samoa would play Tonga in the 2015 Pacific test double header. The 2015 Polynesian Cup was played between Samoa and Tonga.

Samoa beat Tonga to win the Polynesian Cup title.[2] No more than a 6-point margin separated the teams throughout the game. In the 77th minute a try-saving tackle was made on Tonga's Jorge Tafua. He attempted to dive into the corner to score his hat-trick only to be knocked into touch with a colossal hit by big Samoan forward Sam Kasiano. The Samoans won the game, 18–16.

Samoa picked two débutantes for the test match, while Tonga featured four. Both teams' players were National Rugby League-based players except for Samoa's Michael Sio, who plays for Queensland Cup team Mackay Cutters. Samoa's most capped player was Daniel Vidot who made his 10th appearance, while Tonga's most experienced player was Richard Fa'aoso who also made his 10th appearance.

Match details[edit]

2 May 2015
Samoa  18 – 16  Tonga
Try: McGuire 24' c
Vidot 37'
Pritchard 56'
Peyroux 70'
Goal: Simona (1/4) 26'
Video Try: Tafua (2) 28', 48'
S Manu 52' c
Goal: Langi (0/2)
Kata (2/2) 53', 65'
Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Attendance: 12,336
Referee: Australia Ben Cummins
Man of the Match: Sam Kasiano (Samoa)
FB 1 North Queensland colours.svg Tautau Moga
WG 2 Newcastle colours.svg Pat Mata'utia
CE 3 Newcastle colours.svg Joseph Leilua
CE 4 Cronulla colours.svg Ricky Leutele
WG 5 Brisbane colours.svg Daniel Vidot
FE 6 Newcastle colours.svg Carlos Tuimavave
HB 7 Wests Tigers colours.svg Tim Simona
PR 8 Canterbury colours.svg Sam Kasiano
HK 9 Brisbane colours.svg Josh McGuire
PR 10 Wests Tigers colours.svg Sauaso Sue
SR 11 Illawarra colours.svg Leeson Ah Mau
SR 12 Canterbury colours.svg Frank Pritchard (c)
LK 13 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Isaac Liu
Substitutions:
BE 15 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dunamis Lui
BE 16 New Zealand colours.svg Sam Lisone
BE 17 New Zealand colours.svg Dominique Peyroux
BE 18 Mackay Cutters colours.svg Michael Sio
Coach:
Australia Matt Parish
FB 1 New Zealand colours.svg Tuimoala Lolohea
WG 2 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Jorge Taufua
CE 3 New Zealand colours.svg Konrad Hurrell
CE 5 Melbourne colours.svg Mahe Fonua
WG 14 Cronulla colours.svg Sosaia Feki
FE 6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Samisoni Langi
HB 4 New Zealand colours.svg Solomone Kata
PR 8 Parramatta colours.svg Richard Fa'aoso
HK 9 Cronulla colours.svg Pat Politoni
PR 10 Parramatta colours.svg Peni Terepo
SR 11 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Sika Manu (c)
SR 12 Parramatta colours.svg Manu Ma'u
LK 13 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sio Siua Taukeiaho
Substitutions:
BE 7 Wests Tigers colours.svg Joel Luani
BE 15 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Ben Murdoch-Masila
BE 16 Melbourne colours.svg Felise Kaufusi
BE 17 New Zealand colours.svg Albert Vete
Coach:
Australia Kristian Woolf

ANZAC Test[edit]

The 2015 Anzac Test was a rugby league test match played between Australia and New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. It was the 16th Anzac Test played between the two nations under the Super League banner since 1997. Both sides were announced on 26 April.[3][4] The game was originally scheduled to take place on 1 May, but it was postponed due to weather[5] until May 3rd.


Aftermath[edit]

On October 17, Tonga had a one-off battle with the Cook Islands in the Asia-Pacific qualifying playoff for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. The Tongans only led by 4 at the break before running away in the second half scoring 3 tries in the last 20 minutes of the game.

Before the game Tongan coach, Kristian Woolf, noted how players eligible for second-tier nations such as Tonga and Samoa were punished if they pursued an opportunity with an Australian or New Zealand Test or Origin squad. He made the complaint after Tongan internationals Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Tuimoala Lolohea played for the Kiwis in their end-of-year test series against England. Now, Tonga can't pick these two players until a 2-year period has passed. Woolf said "Some flexibility in those rules would certainly help in terms of helping your tier two nations becoming more competitive with your first-tier nations."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Koroibete delights in Fiji win over PNG". Nrl.com. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Tonga torpedoed by flying Kasiano". Nrl.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Kangaroos side to face Kiwis named". NRL.com. 26 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Kiwis name Test squads". NRL.com. 26 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Anzac Test postponed". NRL.com. 1 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Pacific rising: Call to loosen eligibility". nrl.com. Retrieved 17 October 2015.