THE Papua New Guinea Kumuls and Orchids are not going to this year’s England Rugby League World Cup “just to make up the numbers”, says an official.
“We’re going there to compete and win,” PNG Rugby League Football chairman Sandis Tsaka said on Thursday following confirmation that the showpiece event would go ahead as scheduled despite Covid-19.“The Kumuls (men) are ranked sixth in the world.
“We had the privilege of hosting some 2017 World Cup matches at the Oil Search National Football Stadium and the Kumuls reached the quarterfinals.
“This time, we want to finish better.”
The Kumuls will face Tonga (ranked fourth), Wales (14th) and the Cook Islands (23rd) in Pool D while the PNG women’s team, the Orchids, will battle Canada (fifth), Brazil (13th) and England (third) in Group A.
“For the Orchids, they are ranked fourth in the world and they are not going there to just make up the numbers either,” Tsaka said.
“This time, they are going with the aim to win the tournament.
“On behalf of fans across the country, I wish both teams well in the tournament.
“Initially, the Kumuls and Orchids were supposed to travel separately, but that has changed.
“Both teams will now fly out together to Sydney where they will be quarantined for six to eight weeks before they travel on a charter flight to England.”
Meanwhile, Tsaka thanked major sponsors ExxonMobil PNG and Oil Search for their continued backing of the Kumuls and Orchids respectively.
Fixtures: Oct 27 – Kumuls v Tonga (4.30am kick-off, PNG time); Nov 3 – Kumuls v Cook Islands (5.30am); Nov 9 – Kumuls v Wales (5.30am); Nov 10 – Orchids v Canada (3am); Nov 14 – Orchid v Brazil (3am); Nov 18 – Orchids v England (5.30am).
The National / PNG Hunters
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