The two powerhouses of the Bowl meet in the last game before the final and Papua New Guinea will put a cricket score on Fiji if they put in a repeat of last Sunday’s performance.
These are two Rugby League nations heading in very different directions.
Papua New Guinea have long been in love with the game – it is the only nation where Rugby League is its national sport – and are starting to attract more NRL talent, have brought in a top-level coach and have depth for the first time arguably ever.
Fiji have been a regular in World Cup semis but have regressed under the coaching of Wise Kativerata.
The Kumuls were electric in winning the first Test against the Cook Islands, winning 46-10 in a ruthless showing. That stood in stark contrast against the gormless Bati, who only rolled the same opposition in the final few minutes in a game they deserved to lose.
PNG beat Fiji 24-14 last year and have won three of the last four meetings.
The Kumuls are significantly boosted by the returns of Edwin Ipape, Wellington Albert and Rhyse Martin while the Bati are unchanged.
Confidence is sky high on the PNG minus.
Same Game Multi
Zac Laybutt scored an outstanding double in his debut Test and scored three tries in his four NRL games for the Cowboys.
Robert Derby is an out-and-out speedster who scored against Cook Islands and comes off scoring 13 tries in 16 games for the Townsville Blackhawks.
Kumuls rake Edwin Ipape missed the opener as he was serving a suspension so will be raring to go for this one. Ipape is an elite tryscorer with 31 tries in 55 games for Leigh. He should carve up the Fiji middle that was beyond lazy last week.
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