BIG LOSS: Papua New Guinea's David Mead (centre) was injured in the first 90 seconds of the Rugby League World Cup quarter-final against England.
BIG LOSS: Papua New Guinea's David Mead (centre) was injured in the first 90 seconds of the Rugby League World Cup quarter-final against England. MICK TSIKAS

Kumuls miss skilful captain in World Cup

LISMORE junior and Papua New Guinea captain David Mead had his Rugby League World Cup dream dashed in 90 seconds when he was forced from the field in the quarter-finals.

Mead was injured in the first set of the game against England when he suffered a head knock in a try-saving tackle on halfback Luke Gale.

It was his first involvement in the game and the heavy collision with Gale appeared to knock the 29-year-old unconscious.

It was a major concern for Mead who has broken his jaw multiple times during his time in the National Rugby League.

After medical staff assessed him for an extended period, Mead eventually got back to his feet but still appeared dazed.

He didn't want to leave the ground initially, but he was eventually led off the field.

Midway through the first half he failed the Head Injury Assessment, and was not allowed back in the game.

The writing was on the wall early for the Kumuls who lacked direction and the skill of Mead at fullback.

England proved far too strong and went on to win 36-6 and book a spot in the semi-finals against Tonga this weekend.

PNG were one of the feel-good stories of the World Cup going through the pool stage undefeated winning all three games in Port Moresby.

Mead scored a hat-trick in the opening game when the Kumuls beat Wales 50-6.

Meanwhile, Fiji advanced to semi-finals after beating top tier national New Zealand in the the quarter-finals.

Tonga are a big chance of making the World Cup final after a narrow win over Lebanon in the quarter-finals at the weekend.

"The performances of Tonga and Fiji to make the semi-finals undefeated, and the brave efforts of the Lebanon side which had just five NRL players, has broken new ground for the sport,” World Cup chief executive Andrew Hill said.

"The cultural challenges and exciting brand of football on display have captured the imagination of rugby league fans around the world.

"And hearing the players speak so passionately about playing for their countries and inspiring the next generation in their communities has been incredibly pleasing.”



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