2021 Rugby League World Cup

Papua New Guinea head into their final World Cup group game against Wales knowing they must win to stay alive in the tournament.

A quarter-final berth against England in Wigan awaits if the Kumuls can see off the Welsh in Doncaster.

Papua New Guinea will be the favourites at the Keepmoat Stadium, as the last time the two nations met was in the 2017 World Cup where the Pacific nation won 50-6.

Wales have lost both of their games at this tournament but have been far from disgraced.

They have been brave and refused to lie down, showing courage against both the Cook Islands and Tonga.

Despite this, the Kumuls should prove strong on Monday night.

Hooker Edwin Ipape is in great form, while Rhyse Martin is kicking goals for fun.

Halfback Lachlan Lam is leading his side around impressively, and there has been great attacking support at the back from the likes of Alex Johnston, Justin Olam and Dan Russell.

The Dragons will need their halfback Josh Ralph to fire if they are to cause an upset.

John Kear’s team have displayed heart at this tournament and victory would be a just reward for their endeavours.

But Papua New Guinea have the stronger side on paper and should prove too strong in south Yorkshire.

Fite

John Davidson
John is a freelance journalist who has been writing about rugby league for the past decade. He covered the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, has appeared on TV and radio, and been published in The I-Paper, The Guardian, The Sun, The Mirror, League Express, Inside Sport magazine and Big League. He writes regularly for Forty-20 magazine, League Weekly and co-hosts the podcasts By the Balls and Six To Go.