PNG Prime Minister's XIII vs Australian Prime Minister's XIII game preview
The traditional Prime Minister's XIII match between Papua New Guinea and Australia will be played tomorrow (September 24) at Port Moresby’s National Football Stadium.
Australia is fielding arguably its strongest squad since the inception of the Prime Minister’s XIII concept, while PNG will feature its local talents from the Digicel Cup and players from the Intrust Super Cup team the Hunters.
Last year, it was the Australian side who out class their PNG opponents with a 40-12 margin. However, it was still a positive game for PNG as they discovered a young talent called Justin Olam, who has since made a name for himself with the Hunters. Next season, he will move to Melbourne after signing a contract with the Storm.
Coach Mal Meninga has named an imposing Australia side with the majority of the players looking to impress the selectors and earn themselves a spot in the Kangaroos Four Nations squad.
PNG unfortunately will have no overseas-based players taking part in this game, with only Townville Blackhawks forward Willie Minoga available to play. Captain David Mead (Titans), Nene Macdonald (Titans), Rhyse Martin (Blackhawks) and Kato Ottio (Raiders) are all unavailable to play.
Coming up against an Australian team that includes players with Origin experience will be a mammoth task for the local PNG players, but it will give them an opportunity for them to test themselves against some of the world’s best.
This game is also a great chance for people in the rugby league mad nation to see their favourite NRL players play live.
Watch out PNG Prime Minister's XIII
The edge of Maroons star Greg Inglis and Semi Radadra will be a huge task for the PNG boys to contain. Both players have the physicality and power to give opponents nightmares. While these two are key, Australian side has strike power in every position.
Watch out Australian Prime Minister's XIII
PNG Hunters and Kumuls centre Justin Olam has been very damaging all year and put in a great performance against Fiji during the Pacific Test earlier this year. He has also been one of the best players for the Hunters in the Intrust Super Cup this season. Another face to lookout for is young and promising forward Bernard Goma who has been massive in the Digicel Cup team.
Greg Inglis v Justin Olam: NRL superstar GI is a legend in rugby league will be marking up against PNG’s favourite son Olam. Olam will be keen to test himself against the one of the best centres in the world.
Ever since the concept started in 2005, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister's XIII has never won game, but they have drawn once in 2007. They lost controversially in 2012, where a 79th minute Akuila Uate try handed Australia a 24-18 win.
Australian Prime Minister's XIII
1. James Tedesco 2. Semi Radradra 3. Greg Inglis 4. Josh Dugan 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Aaron Woods 9. Jake Friend 10. Ryan James 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Tyson Frizell 13. Josh Jackson 14. Moses Mbye 15. David Klemmer 16. Dylan Napa 17. Jake Trbojevic 18. Matt Moylan
PNG Prime Minister's XIII
1. Bland Abavu 2. Butler Morris 3. Justin Olam 4. Konnie Bernard 5. Anderson Benford 6. Ase Boas 7. Mafu Kalas 8. Bernard Goma (c) 9. Noel Joel 10. Esau Siune 11. David Loko 12. Rhadley Brawa 13. Junior Rop 14. Wartovo Puara Jnr 15. Brandy Peter 16. Willie Minoga 17. Ila Alu
Televised: TV Wan (in PNG)
How we see it: PNG are missing key players who took part in the Pacific Test, so Australia by 20+