21 Dec 2010

PNG win Oceania Cup

11:37 am on 21 December 2010

Papua New Guinea have capped a memorable fortnight by claiming their first Oceania Cup Under 16 Aussie Rules title after a 53-7 win over Tonga in Nukualofa on Monday.

It capped an unbeaten run for the young Mosquitoes, who had also beaten the hosts in pool play.

The AFL's Asia Pacific Manager, Andrew Cadzow, says PNG were simply too good and the progress of the sport in the country is a big part of their success.

"The PNG develop program with twenty thousand plus kids involved and probably the nucleus of the side that beat the Boomerangs - which is a bit of an upset as well - sort of PNG based with the nucleus coming from PNG and then throwing in those really good boys from other countries really make a strong unit. What it did do is make the standard of the tournament very very high - everybody enjoyed it. I mean you look at the standard this year compared with last year and it's probably double so it's quite exciting times for pacific footy."

In other results Fiji secured third spot with victory over Nauru and first-time entrants Solomon Islands toppled New Zealand in the playoff for fifth place.

Andrew Cadzow says the seven team tournament is poised to expand next year with Samoa and Vanuatu set to send full teams.