PNG Kumul Coaches Mal Meninga and Michael Marum have today announced the line up who will face the Tongan Ma’a on Sunday 19th October 2014, 2pm at Lae Rugby League grounds.
The full 21-‐man squad which has been in camp for 3 weeks has been retained after consultation with National Selectors, with the final 17 to be finalised prior to kick-‐off on Sunday said Meninga;
“We have a few niggling injuries to some key personnel that we want to monitor, treat and ensure they are fit for Sundays important match so we will give them right up until game day before we finalise our starting 17. Being in camp for 3 weeks has allowed us to work on different combinations should injuries occur. We have that advantage playing at home where we can have a larger squad to choose from and we will be using it to ensure we have a fully fit 17 on Sunday. We have ample backup in the 21-‐man squad to cover for all positions so there are no issues there for us. We have had a great preparation over the last 3-‐4 weeks and are looking forward to Sundays match.”
Meninga said the Tongans will be tough opposition but the Kumuls needed to play the best quality opposition they can on a regular basis to improve;
“It’s no benefit to us playing against nations who are not top quality. That does nothing to improve us and we will continue to test ourselves against the best International teams. Tonga is stacked with established and young high quality NRL players and its big test for us. We have worked on a few things at training this week and we will be ready to go on Sunday. I’m confident the group we have, after getting a run under our belt last weekend will put in a good performance come Sunday.”
The Squad will travel to Lae on Thursday for the important clash. Tickets & limited merchandise for the match will go on sale on match day – Sunday morning from 8am at the Volleyball Courts, behind Lae Rugby League grounds. Gates will open at 9am with the main game starting at 2pm. Pre game entertainment including a live band will entertain fans. There is NO public car parking available at the grounds.
PNGRFL CEO Brad Tassell said they were expecting a capacity crowd:
“It has been a few years since Lae hosted an International match of this quality and even longer since it hosted an International Test match. This is the real deal and Mal and Michael rotated their players last week to give everyone game time, however this weekend its 17 against 17 with limited interchange. There’s a lot of talk and excitement already in Lae about the match. It will be a massive game and both teams will be going at each other in what we expect will be a very physical encounter. We are encouraging fans to get to there early to get your tickets and we are looking forward to a vocal huge crowd to cheer on and lift the boys against the Tongans.”
PNG Kumul Test 2014 Squad:
Coach: Mal Meninga
Assistant Coach: Michael Marum