2017 Rugby League World Cup - Papua New Guinea vs USA Match Preview

8th Nov 2017 by TSZ

The Lowdown

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

  • In one of the best games of the competition so far, Papua New Guinea held on to beat Ireland in a fiercely competitive contest by 14 points to 6.   
  • That win all but sealed the Kumuls' place in the quarter-finals but they can complete their perfect start to the tournament with a win against USA to qualify in style.   
  • Michael Marum has made a few changes with the most notable in the halves with Lachlan Lam replacing Ase Boas. Moses Meninga, Thompson Tete and Nixon Putt are also given a run out with Stanton Albert, Wellington Albert and Enock Maki making way.  

Head Coach: Michael Marum

Team: Mead; Olam, Ottio, MacDonald, Lo; Lam, W. Boas; Meninga, Segeyaro, Page, Martin, Minoga, Aiton

Bench: Baptiste, Amean, Putt, Teteh

USA

  • USA fell to a second heavy defeat of the competition as they were nilled by Italy last weekend, conceding 46 points in the process meaning they have now conceded 104 points in two games.             
  • Brian McDermott has rung the changes for what is the USA's final game at this year's tournament with Joshua Rice, Matt Shipway, Charles Cortalano and David Ulch all dropping out in place of Jonathan Alley, Joe Eichner, Nicholas Newlin and Martwain Johnston.               
  • Although they have been eliminated, the USA will be hoping to at least be somewhat competitive in their final game and avoid ending as the tournament's lowest scorers having scored just 12 points in their two games.   

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Team: Makelim; Burroughs, Vaivai, Alley, Faraimo; Freed, Samoa; Pettybourne, Marando, Offerdahl, D. Howard, Eichner, Newlin

Bench: Tochterman-Talbott, Malu, Johnston, Farley

Analysis - what to expect               
Papau New Guinea have lit up this World Cup with their passionate displays in front of their home fans and can do so again in their final group game as they aim to qualify for the quarter-finals. After a tense win over Ireland last week, PNG are in prime position to progress but know a win against the USA will seal their qualification. The Americans have struggled so far and will not look forward to a physical PNG outfit with plenty to play for in front of another raucous crowd. The Kumuls have won their last three international matches and will extend that to four here to earn a deserved place in the quarter-finals. 

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