Rugby League

Justin Olam’s Tough PNG Battle

Although Sunshine Coast Falcon Justin Olam says he is proud of his fellow PNG Hunters countrymen for achieving a spot in the final, come kick-off there will be no love lost.

Olam played for the Hunters last year and before that he was part of the Papua New Guinea Lae Snax Tigers.

The centre expected a tough clash in the Intrust Super Cup grand final, but said there was no rivalry or ill-will between the Hunters and himself.

“It’s a bit different and I’ve never played against my (old) team like that in such big games but I’m a Falcon so I’ll give my best for the Falcons,” he said.

“It’s just a game, its not about rivalry or whatever.

“I think they are going to play hard to win the game and we will play hard to win the game and that’s it.”

Olam believed there would be plenty of PNG support in the stands but they wouldn’t be cheering for him.

“I don’t really expect them to support me, but I know my family back home in PNG will support me so I’ll play for them,” Olam said.

Regardless of which side the supporters cheer, he said there was sure to be a “good atmosphere”.

“I think there is going to be heaps coming all the way from PNG and it will be massive,” he said.

“There are heaps of PNG people in Queensland also.”

The 23-year-old was confident the Falcons had the talent and determination to topple the Hunters, and believed it didn’t need to change up the strategy.

“I think we just need to play our game as usual,” he said.

“Our game has brought us this far so we don’t need to do anything new, just stick to our game plan we’ve had throughout the year.”

Although Olam will be fighting tooth and nail for the Falcons to attain season silverware, he was happy that PNG Hunters were in the race too.

The Melbourne Storm-contracted player considered it a win-win scenario.

“I’m very proud of them – last year we wanted to achieve the same thing when I was with the team but we couldn’t do it,” he said.

“And this year they came all the way and made it to the grand final so for the Hunters I’m really proud of what they have achieved but I want to achieve my personal goals too so I want to win the grand final.

“I’ll be happy if they win it but if I win it I will still be happy.”

The PNG Hunters finished on top of the Intrust Super Cup’s 14-team ladder after the 25-round regular season while the Falcons placed fourth.

The sides will face off at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday (3.25pm).

Sunshine Coast Daily
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