The Nationl, Monday 10th September, 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
SELECTORS sat down last night following the Digicel Cup grand final to finalise the PNG Prime Minister’s XIII side that will prepare for the Sept 23 match against their Australian counter-parts.
Kumuls’ coach Adrian Lam maintained after the final where the Agmark Gurias beat the Mendi Muruks 14-10 that it was very important to address the PM’s XIII match first.
“I will sit down with the selectors tonight (Sunday) and see what we come up with,” Lam said.
“We have to keep both the PM’s XIII and next year’s World Cup in mind.”
Lam admitted that he would not mind selecting and keeping a bigger 40-man squad leading to the PM’s XIII and then the World Cup.
Digicel final man-of-the-match Gurias’ hooker Wartovo Puara Junior did his chances of a debut for his country no harm even at half the intensity he had displayed all season, while incumbent Dion Aiye again stamped his class with a bit more maturity without the ball in the organisation department.
Rodney Pora is certain to retain a spot after a solid leadership role from the front in the win, while fullback Albert Patak, centre Jacky Markus, lock Obert Hondole, wing Chris Jerry and Kot Kerua all put their hands up for selection.
Muruks backrowers Jackson Undi and Robert Nandie may be hard to move past on the selection list as well as front rowers Roy Kela and Werr Mark.
While Charlie Wabo and Joseph Omae will easily find themselves in the team, selectors may just find a place for five-eighth Kewa Kili, beside Aiye.
Others that will be hard to over-look are Mioks’ David Loko, Lahanis’ Thompson Teteh, Gonzella Urakusie, Wesley Mohokule, Glen Nami, Vipers’ Steven Johns, Sebastian Pandia, Israel Eliab, Josh Abavu and Richard Kambo.
Mark Mexico (Tigers), Ham Tee, Jason Tali, Francis Ray and Mosely Tika (Eagles) have also impressed.
The finalised 18-man squad will be announced today or tomorrow.