Pacific Cup final

The SP Brewery Pacific Cup final will see the Cook Islands meet Papua New Guinea for a spot in next year’s Four Nations following the host nation’s emphatic 44-14 win over Tonga today.<br><br>The Kumuls were unstoppable at Lloyd Robson Oval, shocking the Tongans with a typically spirited performance in front of a bumper crowd of more than 9,000.<br><br>The Kumuls’ victory continues the run of amazing upset wins so far in the tournament, with Cook Islands earning their spot in the final yesterday with a 24-22 last-gasp win against Fiji.<br><br>Parramatta Eels star and Tonga captain Feleti Mateo did his best to spark his side but it was not enough to deny Adrian Lam’s Kumuls a memorable victory in scorching heat.<br><br>Gold Coast Titans youngster David Mead – already a local hero after his first year of NRL football – bagged a double while centre Menzie Yere crossed three times in a man of the match performance. <br><br>After the match, the fact that the Kumuls were just one win away from joining heavyweights Australia, New Zealand and England in the 2010 Four Nations quickly sunk in.<br><br>“That’s what we’re here for and now we’re one step closer,” PNG captain John Wilshere said.<br><br>“Today was a huge win for us but we know there is one more to go and that will be our focus.”<br><br>Among the day’s best performers were Papua New Guinea’s local players in Siegfried Gande (Goroka Lahanis), Jessie Joe Parker and Anton Kui (SBS Muruks).<br><br>Kumuls coach Adrian Lam paid tribute to his locally-based players, who he said had improved markedly since the side’s 2008 Rugby League World Cup campaign.<br><br>“There’s a great mix in our squad,” Lam said. <br><br>“About eight of the guys are locally based and that’s the part of the team that is our engine room. <br><br>"We asked them to lead and everyone else follows, and they were fantastic today.”<br><br>Next week’s final between the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea will be played on Sunday, November 1, a day after Fiji play Tonga in a rankings playoff.<br><br>Watch both matches <a href="http://www.nrl.com/newsviews/latestnews/newsarticle/tabid/10874/newsid/57145/watch-pacific-cup-action-live/default.aspx">LIVE here</a> on NRL.com at 16:00 (AEST).<br><br>