Rugby World Cup
Cook Islands close in on World Cup berth
July 14, 2013
The Cook Islands are one win away from securing a place at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England after defeating Papua New Guinea 37-31 to claim the 2013 Oceania Cup.
The Cook Islands, who have never appeared at a World Cup, will now play Fiji next year for a place at the sport's showpiece event. The winner of that match will qualify as Oceania One and will join Australia, hosts England, Wales and the Play-off winner in Pool A.
In front of a capacity crowd of just over 7,000 in Port Moresby, the Cooks delivered a composed performance in a thrilling match to come back from 12-3 down late in the first half to go into the interval with a 12-15 lead thanks to two quick tries from Jacob Masters and Ioane Ioane.
The second half was no less dramatic and despite the Cook Islands racing into a 29-12 lead with a quarter of the match to go, four tries in the final quarter from the home side, including a fine score from Butler Morris in the final minute, meant that the Cook Islands' passage was not secure until the referee blew for full time.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd