The Kumuls have a date with England awaiting them, after defeating Ireland last week and will be favourites against the USA Hawks tomorrow in Port Moresby, PNG.
If USA didn’t know much about the PNG Kumuls, They sure will now after some analysis. Gary Lo will be one of the toughest wingers they have probably ever faced, and not to mention Justin Olam on the other wing that runs just as hard.
Hawks Hooker David Marando dubs the match as the match of their life, and advise from a Fijian mate didn’t help in making it one easy task.
“We asked a Fijian bloke what it’s like playing Papua New Guinea and he told us it was like running into a concrete post,” Marando said.
USA will run out in front of the 15,000 PNG fans in what has been dubbed as the “Mumu Pit.” There won’t be much food served but the temperature and humidity will surely make it feel like they are in an oven. Playing into that hands of a Kumul outfit that have a lot of improving to do, following the huge error stats they racked up against the Irish last week.
PNG coach Michael Marum has rested star five-eighth Ase Boas and has handed a debut to Lachlan Lam, son of former Kumul and Australian Assistant coach Adrian Lam. The young Roosters up and coming star, much like his father is a great ball player and will guide his hard hitting forward pack that will also include debutant Moses Meninga from the hunters. And no he is not Mal Meninga’s son.
Also coming into the team is Thompson Tete and Nixon Putt who will all join the starting side while Stanton Albert, Wellington Albert and Enock Maki make way.
The USA have also made some changes for the game with Joshua Rice, Matt Shipway, Charles Cortalano and David Ulch all dropping out in place of Jonathan Alley, Joe Eichner, Nicholas Newlin and Martwain Johnston.
In what is Kumuls Stalwart Paul Aiton’s last match on home soil, the Kumuls should run away with this one, with a quarter final showdown with Wayne Bennett’s Poms awaiting them next week.
Here are the teams
1. David Mead 2. Justin Olam 3. Kato Ottio 4. Nene Macdonald 5. Garry Lo 6. Lachlan Lam 7.Watson Boas 8. Moses Meninga 9. James Segeyaro 10. Luke Page 11. Rhyse Martin 12.Willie Minoga 13. Paul Aiton 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Stargroth Amean 16. Nixon Putt 17.Thompson Teteh 18. Rod Griffin 19. Wartovo Puara 20. Enoch Maki 21. Ase Boas
1. Corey Makelim 2. Ryan Burroughs 3. Junior Vaivai 4. Jonathan Alley 5. Bureta Faraimo 6.Kristian Freed 7. Tui Samoa 8. Eddy Pettybourne 9. David Marando 10. Mark Offerdahl 11.Danny Howard 12. Joe Eichner 13. Nicholas Newlin 14. Sam Tochterman-talbott 15. Fotukava Malu 16. Martwain Johnston 17. Gabriel Farley 18. Steve Howard 19. Andrew Kneisly 20.David Ulch 21. Joshua Rice