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Junior Kumuls triumph at Commonwealth nines league tourney

PNG Junior Kumuls score against the Australians (LoveRugbyLeague.com)KEITH JACKSON

PAPUA New Guinea’s Junior Kumuls pulled a big surprise to win the gold medal at the first Commonwealth rugby league nines championships in Scotland on Sunday.

In the final, the young Kumuls, who gave away much size and weight to the Australian pack, produced a display of courage and skill to finish the game as comfortable winners.

PNG beat the Australians, all drawn from the Sydney Roosters, 22-8 in the Commonwealth Games-endorsed event.

The tournament also saw many shocks in the group stages with little fancied nations showing they were no mugs at a sport that has been long dominated by Australia.

Wales defeated a gutsy Canada 20-8 in the third-place play-off.

Canada, led by James Iodice of the Gold Coast Titans, had defeated England amateurs in the group stages, a good get for a team of ice hockey, gridiron and rugby union converts.

The tournament is an exhibition sport for the Commonwealth Games and is likely to have similar status when the 2018 Commonwealth Games are held on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Play-off results:

Gold Medal: PNG 22, Australia 8

Bronze Medal: Wales 20, Canada 8

Fifth place: Scotland 14, England 8

Seventh place: Jamaica 12, South Africa 4


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