Never before have the Kumuls been as prepared as we were for the 2008 League World Cup opener this weekend. England coach can say what he wants, but the truth of the matter is they had a huge scare and they’re not going to go any further if they think that they are somehow owed a win because everything else in English sport has been looking positive lately after the Olympics. But as a multimillion pound team they will have a good hard look at themselves and good luck to them against Australia.
To the Kumuls, emotionally allot was put into this first game and they truly did us all proud. We have certainly put ourselves on the map this weekend. The word ‘minnows’ has no application to us after this game and it will remain so if we can build on this. As a young team and with the financial support that it has received and I think more importantly the planning that has gone into preparing and putting this team together we can now expect more from our Kumuls. New Zealand will definitely be a tough game but we can now walk with our heads held high as the world can now see what our best looks like in passion and skill and without the millions from which the other teams have come from.
The boys have to re-build now for New Zealand and after NZ’s 34-6 loss against Australia, now would be a great time for us to drive the last nails into New Zealands coffin. The gap between the top teams in Rugby League are beginning to close now and with the momentum we have we can be the country to illustrate this fact to the world.
Scores: 0-4 Gardner try, 0-6 Sinfield con, 4-6 Griffin try, 6-6 Wilshere con, 6-10 Smith try, 6-12 Sinfield con, 10-12 Chan try, 12-12 Wilshere con, 16-12 Kepa try, 16-16 Smith try, 16-20 Gleeson try, 16-22 Sinfield con, 16-26 Gardner try, 16-28 Sinfield con, 16-32 Smith try, 20-32 Aiton try, 22-32 Wilshere con.
Papua New Guinea: Wilshere (capt); Moore, Maori, Joe, Kepa; Gene, Peters; Aizue, Aiton, Exton, Costigan, Nightingale, Griffin.
Subs: Pora, Moni, Chan, Wabo.
England: Wellens; Gardner, Gleeson, Senior, Smith; Pryce, Burrow; Peacock (capt), Roby, Graham, Hock, Ellis, Sinfield.
Subs: McGuire, Fa’asavalu, Morley, Wilkin.
Referee: S Hayne (Australia).