After being thumped by Fiji last week, Papua New Guinea have gone from big favourites to outsiders in the final to be played in Port Moresby.
Last week’s result between the Kumuls and the Bati was stunning.
Fiji went into the clash 8.5-point outsiders but completely eviscerated Papua New Guinea in a 43-16 rout.
Neither team showed much respect for the ball with 22 errors and 13 penalties conceded but it was Papua New Guinea’s poor tackling and Fiji’s ability to put the Kumuls on the backfoot that was the difference.
That embarrassment should be just the kick in the behind the Kumuls need though. It inspired Fiji the week prior after their heinous showing against the Cook Islands and there is just no way PNG will serve up the tripe on home soil again after last week’s horrific effort.
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 five meetings.
The Kumuls have more talent and this price has moved way too much. The value is immense on Papua New Guinea.
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Zac Laybutt scored an outstanding double in his debut Test and scored three tries in his four NRL games for the Cowboys.
Maika Sivo has nine tries in nine Tests for Fiji and has 87 in 103 for the Eels – he can find the line.
Edwin Ipape is an elite tryscorer with 31 tries in 55 games for Leigh. He is sharp out of dummy half and he takes opportunities when the defence is on the back foot. After a below-par showing last week, he will be hellbent on a big showing.
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