Lam keeps faith in 17

Normal, Sports

The National, Monday November 4th, 2013

 PAPUA New Guinea coach Adrian Lam has kept faith by naming the same side to play Samoa.

The only change is to the extended six-member bench which sees Sebastian Pandia replace Wellington Albert.

Lam has opted to give the side that went down to France on October 27 another chance in the crucial Group B fixture against Samoa.

Assistant coach Michael Marum could not confirm the Kumuls kicker for the match yesterday however he did say several kickers were in contention. “We haven’t confirmed the kicker yet. There is a number a players who can be used. We have David Mead, Ase Boas, Francis Paniu, Sebastian Pandia and Israel Eliab. They’re all competing for the kicking role.”

Full back David Mead is still in the running even though he is yet to kick a goal at this World Cup.

The other men in the running are halfback Ase Boas, centre Israel Eliab and backrower Sebastian Pandia. 

Marum also named centre Francis Paniu as another contender for the job however the Gurias three-quarter was not named in the extended team for the game. 

Marum said the Samoa with their group of National Rugby League players and size would pose new problems for the Kumuls. 

“They’ve got some big players who have NRL experience. They will be harder than the French. We are doing our best to prepare for this game because it is the most important one for us now,” Marum said.

“We can’t focus on them (Samoa). We have to get prepared as best we can. Our defence has to be spot for this game because we see that as an area we can improve a lot on.” 

Samoa are also hungry for the win and are also eyeing a quarter-finals spot. 

Kumuls: David Mead, Josiah Abavu, Menzie Yere, Israel Eliab, Nene McDonald, Ray Thompson, Ase Boas, Mark Mexico, Paul Aiton, Enoch Maki, Neville Costigan (c), Jason Chan, Dion Aiye. Bench: Jesse Joe Nandye, Richard Kambo, Larsen Marape, Jason Tali, Sebastian Pandia, Charlie Wabo.