Hosts Papua New Guinea cruised to the Oceania Rugby Cup title after completing a hat-trick of bonus-point victories at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.
Saturday’s resounding 58-19 win against the Solomon Islands followed the Puk Puk’s earlier successes against runners-up Tahiti (32-10) and American Samoa (36-22).
Papua New Guinea went into the third and final round knowing that anything other than defeat would be enough for them to win the title for the first time since 2011. They were runners-up to the Cook Islands when the competition was last held in 2013.
The Solomon Islands gave the Puks Puk's an early scare when full-back Chris Saru latched onto a loose ball in broken play to score a try in the opening minutes.
But superbly marshalled by skipper Nigel Genia, brother of Wallaby legend Will, the Puk Puk’s regained their composure to score three tries of their own and take a healthy lead going into the break.
Saru crossed again in the second half but by then the damage had been done and the Puk Puk’s pulled away to the delight of their supporters.
In the earlier match, Tahiti recorded their highest ranking at the Oceania Rugby Cup by beating American Samoa 20-9 to clinch second place.
Scrum-half Guillaume Broqui was dynamic from the base and kept the Tahitians on the front foot throughout, while captain Ralph Teriitaohia led his young pack valiantly against the physical Samoans and was rewarded with his first international try late in the second half.
Oceania Rugby Cup 2015 results
Solomon Islands 15-30 American Samoa
Papua New Guinea 32-10 Tahiti
Tahiti 36-12 Solomon Islands
Papua New Guinea 36-22 American Samoa
American Samoa 8-20 Tahiti
Papua New Guinea 58-19 Solomon Islands
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