COOK Islands are all set to take on any and all comers in the Pacific Cup tournament starting this Saturday, boosted by their young talents and the fact that they are entering the competition as underdogs.
“We don’t have any top grade National Rugby League (NRL) players in our competition but my young players will be out to play and concentrate on their footy to keep their great form which saw them shock the Samoans in the qualifiers,” said coach David Fairleigh.
Fairleigh, a former North Sydney Bears player, said most of his young players play in the Toyota Cup competition.
He said it would be a great opportunity for them to come out and compete against experienced players from Fiji, Tonga and PNG.
Fairleigh is banking on his young guns in the likes of Ben Veau, captain Tere Glassie and Newcastle centre Keith Lulia to lead their charges from the front in the SP Brewery Pacific Cup.
Meanwhile, Tonga captain Feleti Mateo is more focused and looking forward to the clash against the Kumuls, whom he described as tough to gun down on their own turf.
The Tongans have plenty of talent in their side, with Mateo confirming himself as the five-eighth to create inroads for his boys to run through.
He added that the Tongans had built confidence after playing against the New Zealand Kiwis in the trials last week.
PNG Telikom Kumuls are also gearing up to take on their opponents.
England-based hooker Charlie Wabo, told The National yesterday that he was optimistic that the boys would give their best as they focus on Sunday’s clash against the Tongans.