PNG RLWC 2017

 

By Brian Lowe, Date: 7/11/17 (Photo Credit NRLPhotos)

Venue: Port Moresby National Football Stadium, Papua New Guinea

TV Kick-off time: Sunday 12th November 2017, 3pm PGT

No team faces a bigger obstacle than the USA Hawks in Round 3 of the Pool stages at the Rugby League World Cup.

The Americans go up against the hitherto unbeaten Papua New Guinea Kumuls in Port Moresby Sunday in their crossover Pool match.

The Kumuls have already accounted for Wales and Ireland to punch their ticket to the playoff rounds, whereas the Hawks have been on the wrong end of two big scorelines and will be going home regardless of the final result.

USA Rugby League (USARL) and head coach Brian McDermott made it abundantly clear before this World Cup had even started that more important than winning games was the process of building a legacy back home.

The USARL selected 12 homegrown players for this World Cup rather than casting further afield to find eligible NRL and Super League players, as their predecessors did leading up to the 2013 tournament.

Last time out, the US made it to the quarterfinals, but this time it’s been obvious that when you play a team of mostly amateurs against teams that are stacked with professionals the results are going to be academic, and they have been.

So, have the players bought in to that philosophy? According to co-captain Nick Newlin the answer is yes.

“Not only the experience here, but when you work with a coach like Mac for three weeks all we do is take that back and instill it in our programs,” he said.

“And on top of that, we’ve been getting great media coverage and that’s huge. We’ve just got to keep building the game in the US.”

First things first though, and the task at hand is to face off against PNG in front of what’s likely to be another vocal sellout crowd at Oil Search National Football Stadium.

Guys like David Mead, James Segeyaro, Rhyse Martin and Watson Boas are like demi gods to the Papua New Guinea faithful and they will be spurred on to make it a clean sweep of their Pool games.

PNG
1 David MEAD (c)
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 TETEHE

18 Rod GRIFFIN
19 Wartovo PUARA
20 Enock MAKI
21 Ase BOAS

USA
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 (c)
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 KNEISLEY
20 David ULCH
21 Joshua RICE

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