By ISAAC LIRI
THE Papua New Guinea Orchids are looking to improve their game and gain valuable experience in their first overseas fixture in Innisfail, Queensland, tomorrow.
The match against a North Queensland women’s invitational side will also serve as the curtainraiser to the Tonga-Italy rugby league World Cup warm-up game.
The Oil Search-sponsored side coached by Dennis Miall fly to Cairns today armed with a positive mind set and with two new inclusions into their squad.
Queensland forward Jazmyn Taumafai and Southern region utility Delilah Ahose were added to the squad on Tuesday.
PNG Orchids captain Cathy Neap said the feeling in camp was positive and the women were excited about their first trip overseas.
“Because it is our first time, I think most of us feel a little under pressure, but we are helping each other,” Neap said.
“We are trying to lift our standard that is expected of a national team. At this stage I think it’s a learning curve and the girls have been doing really great trying to pick themselves up and reach that expected standard.
“Training has been active and fast. David Westley (former Kumul) has brought in a lot of value to our training.
“He’s got the experience of playing, coaching and training.
“I think we are privileged to have someone like him.”
Neap said one of their main challenges was time management.
“David has been helping us to consider and apply time management to our training which is important because it will benefit us on and off the field,” the 28-year old said.
Neap singled out defence as the area they wanted to make big improvements in.
The Orchids were beaten 42-6 by the Australian Jillaroos in their first international fixture last month in Port Moresby but Neap was upbeat about her side’s development.
“We plan to improve more on our defence, how to move together as a team with our line speed up and then holding the line in defence.
“We have some old habits which we carry on from the way we were coached and play at the club level but David has brought to us important technical stuff which can change the way we play and help us become more competitive,” she said.
PNG Orchids: Elvinah Aason, Joan Kuman, Christie Bulhage, Naomi Kaupa, Martha Karl, Shirley Joe, Fay Sogavo, Maima Wei, Delailah Ahose, Brenda Goro, Cathy Neap (C), Carol Humeu, Della Audama, Janet Michael, Akosita Baru, Vero Waula, Anne Oiufa, Helen Abau, Jazmyn Taumafai; Dennis Miall (coach).
By ISAAC LIRI