Ireland confident in Papua New Guinea Challenge

Ireland have positive mindset coming in their round two game in their Rugby League World Cup campaign against Papua New Guinea. 

The Wolfhounds coach, Mark Aston, spoke to national broadcaster RTÉ about the challenge in the Kulmuls who seen off Wales easily with a 50-6 win in Port Moresby.

“We’re not going to be shocked on Sunday. We know what we’ve got to do and the big fellas have a massive job because they’re going to ramp up and they’re going to challenge us.”

I’ve been associated with [Papua New Guinea] for 10 years now with Menzie Yere, Garry Lo and Mark Mexico and I’ve watched plenty of PNG Hunters as well so I know what they’re about,” Aston continued.

“We’ve got a plan and, if we execute it, then who knows?”

Ireland got off to a blazing start in round one against Italy with a 36-12 victory with weather conditions in Port Moresby being similar to Cairns.

Rugby League Ireland Director, Richard Egan, spoke of the reception the Wolfhounds’ received on their stay in Port Moresby by phone:

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“What we have seen so far is that they are incredibly passionate. The local people around the hotel and the ground are so passionate about the sport. They want the national side to do well.”

We were very aware coming the standard of the sport has here. We know the crowd are going to be very vocal, but they have pressure locally to do well.”

The mood in camp is really really good. We all know it could be a knock out for the qualifiers.”

Ireland have been set a blow with the loss of Michael Russell, who had to travel home due to the death of his brother Liam.

Speaking to the BBC, Egan said that the, “thoughts of the squad and all involved in RLI are with Mikey, his parents, family and friends at this time.”

Egan added that, “as a mark of respect, the team will wear black armbands in the game against Papua New Guinea and before the game the squad will share a moment together on the field.”

Ireland take on Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby at 6am Irish time.

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