5 Nov 2022
Papua New Guinea 70-0 Brazil: Gwasamun grabs semi-final spot for Orchids
PNG set up a tantalising match-up with England to decide who will top Group A
By Jack Lacey-Hatton at the MKM Stadium
Brilliant Belinda Gwasamun helped Papua New Guinea reach the semi-finals at the Rugby League World Cup with a comfortable 70-0 win over Brazil.
The powerful centre produced her own fireworks on a damp Bonfire Night, with her four-try display ensuring the Orchids are into the last four of the women’s tournament for the first time.
They, along with England who beat Canada 54-4 earlier, have qualified from Group A with the two unbeaten sides meeting on Wednesday to decide the group winners.
And Papua New Guinea showed they will be no pushovers with an impressive performance in Hull.
Belinda Gwasamun with her second try of the night and Papua New Guinea are building a comfortable lead over Brazil.#RLWC2021 | #PNGBRA | @BBCSport pic.twitter.com/9DRrpuRal6
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) November 5, 2022
The Orchids were in control throughout despite coach Ben Jeffries shuffling his pack, making three changes from the team that beat Canada.
Their clinical attack was highlighted with a first points haul of over 60 points, already a huge improvement from 2017 where they scored just 16 across the three games.
Brazil competed physically in only their third full international, as they had done against England on Tuesday, but were unable trouble the scoreboard this time.
Their task had already been made tougher by the absence of captain and half-back Maria Graf who unsuccessfully appealed against a one-match ban and with Tatiane Fernandes also missing, none of the Amazonas featuring in Hull had played a full international prior to this week.
It took just two minutes for Gwasamun to pick up where from where she left off against the Ravens, crashing over after a wonderful offload from Shirley Joe.
The Orchids' fast start continued when Leeds Rhino Tara Moxon marked her Rugby League World Cup debut with a try, dotting down in the corner after good work from the impressive Shae-Yvonne De La Cruz.
Brazil grew in confidence as the half went on but were hampered by the wet conditions.
Papua New Guinea showed little mercy, Anika Butler getting her second try of the tournament before Gwasamun bulldozed through to add a fourth before half-time.
Captain Elsie Albert got them off the mark in the second half with a superb score, powering through the Amazonas backline.
The try of the night came only minutes later, a wonderful run from Jessikah Reeves saw the lock charge through multiple Brazilian tackles from halfway before finding the whitewash.
Stand-off Sera Koroi was next to score with her first of the tournament, before Gwasamun claimed her hat-trick try after former rugby sevens player Edna Santini failed to deal with a kick.
Moxon added her second score with Gwasamun then turning on the afterburners to help bring up the half century..
Hooker Joe also dotted down following Ua Ravu’s linebreak and Martha Molowia, the star player from the first game, going over for her third try of the tournament.
Kicker Lilah Malabag then chased down a grubber for try number 13, giving her an 18-point haul for the match, before Therese Aiton added the final try in the closing minutes to round off proceedings.
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets