PAPUA New Guinea beat Scotland 38-20 in its warm up match. Scotland got everything they wanted from their only pre-RLWC2013 warm-up — apart from a win. PNG took advantage of the many changes Scotland made throughout the game and scored two late tries to turn an entertaining and close encounter into an apparently comfortable victory.
Scotland got off to the perfect start: PNG sent the kick off out of the in-goal on the full and from the resultant penalty, Scotland built through Oli Wilkes before Danny Brough's cut-out pass sent Brett Carter sliding over on the right within seconds of the game commencing. Brough strangely so miskicked the conversion attempt that it didn't even reach the posts.
The Kumuls bounced back on seven minutes when Enoch Maki took Paul Aiton's short pass and spun over the line from close range.
PNG then had the better of field position and matched Scotland for set completion during a raft of Bravehearts substitutions. But Scotland regained the lead when Brough's speculative jabbed cross-field kick on the last was completely missed by Sheffield centre Menzie Yere, enabling Ben Hellewell, on his home ground, to stroll over. Brough kicked the goal for a 10-6 lead on 22 minutes.
Brough showed a rare glimpse of fallibility when he fumbled a simple pass following a fine break by Alex Hurst and there were ironic cheers when his next kick went straight to a man in yellow and red.
Minutes later Josiah Abavu took a suspiciously-forward-looking pass and raced through the broken field to kick through superbly for Sydney Roosters' youngster Nene Macdonald to touch down.
Seconds before the bell, Whitehaven's Jessie Joe Nandye — aka Parker - broke through three tacklers to feed Wellington Albert by the posts. Incredibly, Mead missed the kick, leaving the Kumuls 16-10 up.
PNG repeated the feat within a minute of the restart, a kick through bouncing off Josh Barlow's chest, Nandye reacted superbly to pick up and send Richard Kambo racing over the line. Mead struck the kick conversion again.
By 52 minutes, all subs had been used by both sides, including Kane Linnett making his Scotland debut and Andrew Henderson extending his record appearances to 21.
They could do nothing when Meads threw a splendid dummy and wandered under the posts to the delight of an appreciative crowd. His conversion made it 26-10.
Danny Addy then capped a promising debut with a try — thanks to a run by Irvine-born Matt Russell — and a goal to reduce the deficit to ten points on the hour mark.
Both sides started to throw the ball around as the sun came out. And it was Scotland who scored next, Russell flying a long pass out to Alex Hurst to score on the right flank. Addy missed the conversion attempt.