The Lae Rugby league ground is set to host the PNG Kumuls and Tonga Mate Ma’a when they play in the International Rugby League test match tomorrow afternoon.
Both teams ended their training sessions this afternoon and have finalised their starting lineup for the game.
Kumuls coach Mal Meninga maintained his “PM’s 13” players from last Sunday, while Tonga’s Kristian Wolf is to unleash Broncos magic in tomorrow’s game.
Papua New Guinea and Tonga have a strong passion for rugby league at home. This game will give a lot of international exposure for most of their young and promising footballers.
PNG holds rugby league close to its heart. It has this game to deliver a win for its thousands of followers nationwide.
Likewise for the Tongans, a win over the Kumuls will prove their worth as a rugby-playing nation.
PNG Coach Mal Meninga is no stranger to the rugby league scene. The Queensland player and coach had seen serious commitment in the Kumuls camp this week.
He is overwhelmed with the improvement the team has been through, compared to previous years.
Following their captain’s run this morning, there were no major injuries reported as the Kumuls looked solid and ready to face the Tongans.
Mark Mexico and Willie Minoga will lead the Kumuls in the front, while Dion Aiye, Roger Laka and Thompson Teteh are expected to direct ball traffic from the centre.
The Tongans, however, are confident to take on the Kumuls.
Brisbane Broncos Assistant Coach and current Tonga Mate Ma’a Coach Kristian Wolf is looking for a win over the Kumuls.
With the inclusion of Penrith’s Sika Manu and Broncos’ David Alla, the Tongan’s will be no easy defeats for the Kumls.
The Tongan’s have settled well in Lae since arriving on Wednesday and have been looking forward for the big game tomorrow.
Unlike Papua New Guinea, a win in tomorrow’s game will drive more support towards the development of rugby league in the Pacific island nation of Tonga.
Both teams have called for more support from the people of Lae, especially rugby league followers, to get behind their team and support in a respectful manner.
While many rugby league supporters will be cheering behind the Kumuls, the Tongan Coach believes diehard NRL fans will also get behind their favourite players in the Tongan side.
The game kicks off at 2pm; however, gates will be open at 9am for supporters to buy merchandise for their teams.