Photo: Oceania Rugby The captains of Samoa, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji pose with the Oceania U20 Rugby Championship trophy. Despite making 13 changes from the team that crushed Fiji, the New Zealand U20s looked just as impressive beating Samoa 80-23 in their second game on the Gold Coast last night.Wing Caleb Clarke was a standout, playing a major role in a number of tries and dotting down for one of New Zealand’s 12 tries himself.At half-time New Zealand led 47-6.In the other match Australia defeated Fiji 32-24 but it was a performance that was far from convincing.New Zealand play Australia in Saturday night’s winner takes all final match.
“I wouldn’t be in this situation if I didn’t think I was [going to be fit] for Sunday, it’s all going well so far,” Slater told media on Wednesday.”I understand what it takes to play a game in an Origin, I’m pretty confident I’ll be right on Sunday.”Slater is set to play his 30th State of Origin match when Queensland face New South Wales on Sunday with the Blues looking to lock up a series win at home following a 22-12 victory in Melbourne in game one.”We’ve got a challenge in front of us, we’ve got to go down to Sydney, it won’t be easy,” he said.”We definitely think we can improve on our performance and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”Slater’s likely successor at fullback, Newcastle Knights star Kalyn Ponga, has joined the Queensland squad as the Maroons’ bench utility for game two and Slater said he’d be happy to allow Ponga to play at the back if coach Kevin Walters’ game plan warranted it.”I think Kalyn is going to play multiple positions, fullback could possibly be one of them, I’m not too sure but he’s an exciting player and I’m sure he’ll do a great job,” he said.”I’d be happy to move around, I’ll do what’s best for the team.””I’m sure Kevvie’s got a plan in his head. I haven’t spoken to Kev about his plans with Kalyn just yet but he’s certainly going to be a great attribute coming on the field for us when the Blues are a little bit tired.”
Heading the push for precious metal are our golden fish Ryan Pini (54.21 sec) and Sam Seghers (56.09 sec) for the men 100m butterfly.Seghers is the fastest behind Pini in this event.Shanice Paraka (32.75 sec) and Anna-Liza Mopio-Jane (32.88 sec) for women 50m backstroke. Emma Terebo of New Caledonia was the fastest in this event with a new Games record of 29.86 sec. The previous record was 30.28 sec.Akunaii Bobby qualified for the men’s 400m medley recording 5:28:38 sec. 13 year old Ebony Tkatchenko (2:23:87 sec) and Anna-Liza Mopio-Jane (2:20:91 sec) qualified for the women 200m freestyle.Ebony’s elder sister 15 year old Savannah and Tegan McCarthy have qualified for the women 200m breaststroke.Barbara Vali – Skelton was disqualified in this event. Details on this are yet to be released by the officials. The finals get underway at 6pm today at the BSP Arena.
From Jiwaka, the 26-year-old White Shark was also the PNG lightweight national champion (Pro).He will be travelling along with four Australians, (two females and two males).The four will be on a two-year scholarship and also take part in some fights in Thailand.White Shark told Loop PNG that he is looking forward to the scholarship and will not let his country down.He said his dream was to be a professional kickboxer after being influenced by movies of actors like Jean Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee.He told Loop PNG that his aim was to continue fighting until he becomes a professional fighter and eventually win the world title.White Shark was sponsored by Minister for Sports Justin Tkatchenko.He will leave for Sydney on Friday and will meet up with the four Australians who will head to Thailand together.
The Hunters will be hoping their imposing home record remains intact after going down against the Prides last weekend in a disappointing 40-16 score.Both teams have had a player ruled out by suspension, with Falcon Tui Kamikamica Tui pleading no contest to a careless high tackle charge, while Hunters Philimon Kimisive has pleaded guilty to a shoulder charge offence.The game will kick-off at 3pm tomorrow at the National football Stadium in Port Moresby.Hunters team for this weekend includes; 1. Bland Abavu 2. Butler Morris 3. Noel Zeming (c) 4. Justin Olam 5. Stargroth Amean 6. Ase Boas 7. Wartovo Puara Jnr 8. Enock Maki 9. Gahuna Silas 10. Esau Siune 11. Timothy Lomai 12. Nickson Borana 13. Brandy Peter 14. Warren Glare 15. Adam Korave (co-captain) 16. Henry Wan 17. Edward Goma 18. Benjamin Hetra 19. Watson BoasCoach: Michael Marum