Rugby League Around the Grounds
The first of the Group C games today would have two of the losing teams from day two coming against each other to try and grab their first win of the Rugby League Emerging Nations World Championship.
The Solomon Islands and Hong Kong are both coming off losses, with the Solomon Islands making a decent effort against Turkey and Hong Kong were dispatched easily by Poland.
The early stages would see huge runs, some fantastic footwork and desperate scrambling defense from both teams to try and get the first points on the board. We would wait ten minutes, with a penalty giving the Solomon Islands possession right in front of the posts and they would make no mistake.
From the tap off the penalty the ball would end up in the hands of Larvinstarr Tongaka who exploded off the mark, stepping through a tackle and carrying two would-be tacklers over the line to open the scoring on the left edge.
Eddie Moe’ava would have the kicking duties for the Solomon Islands, and with the wind swirling across the field he would miss the conversion to leave it at 4-0 after thirteen minutes.
Just five minutes later, Solomon Islands would go in off a scrum thanks to an error by Hong Kong on their own tryline.
Timo Sanga would leave the scrum feed to his five-eighth in Tony Taupongi, so Sanga could bust through a tackle and score underneath the black dot from ten metres out.
Moe’ava would make no mistake from in front, converting the try to leave it at 10-0 after twenty minutes.
We would not wait long before the Solomon Islands would go in yet again, thanks to a beautiful cut out pass from Timo Sanga.
His pass would find the fullback in Moses Singamoana, who would feed it left and the ball from Henry Angikimua would send Steven Momoa over in the far left corner for the third try of the game.
Moe’ava would have his conversion attempt on target, but the wind ensured that it would drop under the bar and leave the score at 14-0 after 28 minutes of play.
Plenty of errors from both sides would see a back and forth last twelve minutes, but a try would appear out of nowhere to close out the half.
Moses Singamoana would make a one on one strip, taking it away from Hong Kong’s Mike Tsang after a bomb and ran right under the posts with just seconds remaining to finish the half on a high.
Moe’ava would make his conversion attempt to leave the score at 20-0 on the siren for half time.
The Solomon Islands would start the second half the exact same way that they finished the first half, with some soft defense from Hong Kong alongside great footwork from Timo Sanga, followed by a pass to Henry Angikimua for the fifth try of the afternoon.
The wind wasn’t letting up, with Moe’ava sending his conversion flying left of the posts to leave the score at 24-0 after 43 minutes.
It would not take long for The Solomon Islands to get back on the scoreboard, with a set play off the scrum finding the fullback in Moses Singamoana.
Singamoana would scream straight through a huge hole in the defense and run 70 metres to score in the left hand corner.
Timo Sanga took over the kicking duties, though he missed the conversion to leave the score at 28-0 with half an hour left.
Hong Kong would get themselves on the board with Lee Griffiths receiving a great offload from Ben Ryan 10 metres out.
Griffiths would have a free run at the line, ensuring that Singamoana missed his tackle to give Hong Kong their first points.
Richard Lindsay would convert from right in front to make it 28-6 with 20 minutes left.
Hong Kong would go back-to-back with repeat sets due to a knock on from the Solomon Islands and the resulting scrum would see Matthew Waugh carry defenders over the line to score right next to the posts.
Lindsay would convert his second attempt from the right of the posts to bring it back to 28-12.
That would be the end of the comeback though for Hong Kong, with Lee Griffiths going from hero to zero in about five minutes.
He would drop the ball from the kick off return, and then get sent to the sin bin for dissent just minutes later.
That would allow The Solomon Islands to spread the defensive line, with Daniel Saomatangi going down the shortside to score in the right hand corner and kill any thought of a Hong Kong comeback with just 10 minutes left.
The resulting conversion attempt from Sanga would miss to the left and leave the score at 32-12 with seven minutes to go.
A second sin binning in the game would see Moses Singamoana have an early shower, being sent with five minutes to go courtesy of a swinging forearm after he was tackled.
Hong Kong thought that they had a consolation try right on the death, but it was ruled to be a forward pass.
That would leave the game as it is, with the Solomon Islands running out 32-12 winners and getting their first win of the tournament.
Hong Kong – 12
Tries – Lee Griffiths, Matthew Waugh
Goals – Richard Lindsay (2)
Solomon Islands – 32
Tries – Moses Singamoana (2), Larvinstarr Tongaka, Timo Sanga, Steven Momoa, Henry Angikimua, Daniel Saomatangi
Goals – Eddie Moe’ava (2)