Batis prop Kamikamica wary of ‘brick-like’ Kumuls

Sports

WITH a dominant performance against Samoa behind him, Fiji prop Tui Kamikamica, pictured, is preparing to face a Papua New Guinea side that bring an unmatched physicality to the game.
Kamikamica and his Batis teammates turned in a stunning display in their win over a star-studded Samoa last week, setting the stage for tomorrow’s meeting (3.20pm kick-off, PNG time) in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Kamikamica ran for a game-high 192m at Eden Park last weekend in 59 minutes of work.
But the Melbourne Storm forward said he would have to find another level against the Kumuls at Orangetheory Stadium and set a platform for those around him.
“I’ve been playing a little while for Fiji, and while I’m still learning, I do want to lay a platform for my bench this week,” Kamikamica said.
“I’ve been trying to be more energetic on the field and lead the way with my other starting prop Kane Evans.
“Against Samoa, the coach (Brandon Costin) asked me to give everything in the opening 20 minutes and then see how we went from there.
“It was tough playing against Junior Paulo, Martin Taupau, those guys are so big.
“But PNG are more physical (than other teams), they are built like a brick and every time they tackle they come to hurt you.
“Every time they run the ball they run as hard as they can and when they tackle they want to smash you.
“But we are up for that challenge.
“The thing Brandon has mentioned to us during the week is for us to match their physicality.
“If we can do that, we will put ourselves in a good position to win the game.”
The 2019 NRL season was Kamikamica’s best since he made his debut in 2017.
He featured in 21 matches for a Storm side that made it as far as the preliminary finals.
Batis halfback Brandon Wakeham said Kamikamica’s ability to get through long stints on the field and be as damaging as he is was impressive.
“Seeing Tui last the minutes he does at his size is crazy,” Wakeham said.
“Against Samoa last week, a couple of forwards went off and then more were getting interchanged. I looked up and he was still on the field.
“He got through so many carries and so many tackles for the boys.”
After beating Samoa last weekend, Fiji now sit atop Pool B in the Oceania Cup and are on the verge of securing promotion to join New Zealand and Tonga in Group A for next year.
Fiji and PNG have played three times at test level, with the Kumuls winning the last two encounters.
Kamikamica said the most recent game, in which PNG raced out to a 26-4 half-time lead in a 26-14 win, was proof of how dangerous the Kumuls can be.
“Last year, it was a big win for the Kumuls and we have to keep in mind the recent games we have had against them,” Kamikamica said.
“It’s always a tough game where you know they will bring it, so we have to be ready for that.” – NRL

Leave a Reply