Sport: PNG to face NZ in AFL International Cup decider

12:30 pm on 16 August 2017

Defending champions Papua New Guinea will square off against the favourites New Zealand in the AFL International Cup Men's final after contrasting but equally dramatic wins in the final round of pool matches in Melbourne.

The PNG Mosquitoes needed to win big against South Africa and duly delivered, with an emphatic 113-4 victory.

PNG tour manager Peter Harrison said they had sat down the night before and gone through all the possible scenarios.

"Of course America played today and ended up giving France a pretty good walloping so USA's percentage climbed right up and we just didn't have to win, we had to clobber South Africa," he said.

"But we did what we needed to do - that's for sure. We needed really 12 goals and we got 16 but the way we were going I thought, if we kicked straight, we probably could have had upwards of maybe 20.

"But it was a terrific day and I can say the excitement (across all of the matches was incredible and) the tension today was unbelievable in the PNG camp.

"Everyone knew what they had to do no one really spoke about it they just looked at one another and went out and sort of executed it".

Papua New Guinea are hoping Ireland slip up to boost their chances of making the grand final.

PNG advanced to the final at Ireland's expense. Photo: AFL Media

The Mosquitoes still needed New Zealand to beat Ireland to confirm their place in a sixth consecutive grand final.

A goal in the final seconds gave the Hawks a last-gasp 53-49 win and Peter Harrison said their squad was living every moment on the sideline.

"Every time New Zealand hit the front PNG people were going nuts everywhere but you couldn't write a better script to be quite honest," he said.

"I mean that New Zealand Ireland game was a real clincher of a game and then in the dying seconds to get that shot on goal and pinch the game from the Irish.

"From our perspective we just had our hearts in our mouth in the last five minutes, four minutes of the game just wondering which was it was going to go and needing New Zealand to win".

The New Zealand Hawks are bidding for a first AFL International Cup title since 2005.

The New Zealand Hawks are bidding for a first AFL International Cup title since 2005. Photo: AFL Media

In other results, Nauru defeated Canada 56-24 and will playoff for fifth place, while Fiji will playoff for seventh place after a 54-27 defeat by Great Britain.

Meanwhile the Papua New Guinea Flames walloped Pakistan 150-0 and Fiji outclassed the European Crusaders 87-1 to set up an all-Pacific playoff for fifth place in the women's competition.

The men's final will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday afternoon, prior to the Collingwood-Geelong AFL match, with the women's final serving as the curtain-raiser to the Carlton-Hawthorn game at Etihad Stadium.