New Zealand v Papua New Guinea

New Zealand v Papua New Guinea

New Zealand V Papua New Guinea
Saturday 30th October 2010, 06:00am at the Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua

Match build up

The Kiwis against the Kumuls, this could get tasty.

Two very physical sides who know how to play it rough and tough.  New Zealand showed last weekend against England that they are a big unit and will take some stopping.  Papua New Guinea showed they love one thing, big hits.

Stanley Gene’s chargers didn’t embarrass themselves last weekend and showed they are willing to work extremely hard against quality opposition.  In all fairness PNG were their own worse enemy at times last Sunday.  Three poor errors led to Aussie tries and Gene will be look to eradicate these straight away.

His opposite number Stephen Kearney will be looking for a more clinical performance from his side this week.  A good win last week against England got them off to a good start however they believe they must improve if they are to beat their arch enemies the Aussies.

Similarly to last weekends game PNG will be wanting to get stuck in and ensure they are competitive.

Unfortunately for the Kiwis winger Manu Vatuvei was ruled out of the tournament straight after the England game, the NZ Warrior broke his arm whilst tackling Michael Shenton in the early stages of the opening game.

Form guide

New Zealand – WWLLW

W 24-10 V England, Wellington, 23 October 2010 – Four Nations 2010 Game 1
W 50-6 V Samoa, Auckland, 16 October 2010 – International Match
L 12-8 V Australia, Melbourne, 7 May 2010 – Anzac Test
L 20-12 V England, Huddersfield, 7 November 2009 – Gillette Four Nations 2009 Game 6
W 62-12 V France, Toulouse, 31 October 2009 – Gillette Four Nations 2009 Game 4

Papua New Guinea – LLWWL

L 0-42 V Australia, Parramatta, 24 October 2010 – Four Nations 2010 Game 2
L 18-30 V Australia PM XIII, Port Moresby, 25 September 2010 – International Match
W 42-14 V Cook Islands, Port Moresby, 1 November 2009 – Pacific Cup Final
W 44-14 V Tonga, Port Moresby, 25 October 2009 – Pacific Cup Round Robin Match
L 18-42 V Australia PM XIII, Port Moresby, 27 September 2009 – International Match

Last five meetings

New Zealand 48-6 PNG, Gold Coast , 01 November 2008 – RL World Cup
New Zealand 64-0 PNG, Palmerston North , 11 October 1996 – International Match
New Zealand 62-8 PNG, Albi, 05 October 1996 – International Match
New Zealand 22-6 PNG, St Helens, 13 October 1995 – RL World Cup
New Zealand 30-16 PNG, Port Moresby , 23 October 1994– International Match
Kiwis on home turf

2010 New Zealand 50-6 Samoa
2009 New Zealand 40-24 Tonga
2008 New Zealand 56-8 Tonga
2007 Australia 58-0 New Zealand
2006 New Zealand 34-4 Great Britain

Key battles

Paul Aiton V Jeremy Smith

Cronulla’s Paul Aiton started at loose forward last week against Australia for the Kumuls and it’s no great surprise that Stanley Gene decided to use his captain in such a vital position.  Normally a hooker Aiton has a lot of NRL experience and must be commended for the way he led his team last time out.  This weekend he will come up against Jeremy Smith who is set to join Aiton at Cronulla in 2011.  At loose forward for St George in their title winning team of 2010 Smith is a star player who gives it everything.

Jessie Joe Parker V Junior Sa’u

In another tactical move by Stanley Gene last week stand off Jessie Joe Parker was switched to stand off in an attempt to add more bite to the PNG back line.  The new Wakefield signing will probably stay in the centres this week and has the formidable force of Junior Sa’u to deal with.  The huge hard running 23 year old has been a rock for Newcastle this season.  The one club man was selected in Samoa’s train on squad for the 2008 World Cup but didn’t make the cut, he was selected for the Kiwis 2009 Four Nations squad and hasn’t looked back.

Makali Aizue V Greg Eastwood

Experienced campaigner Aizer spent the 2010 season at Halifax following his move from Hull KR.  He represented PNG at Rugby Union before seeing the bright side.  Recently admitted a move to the NRL would be a dream come true and will be looking for a big tournament.  His opposite number looks set to be former Leeds forward Greg Eastwood.  Having waited a year to eventually sign Eastwood after visa difficulties the 23 year old spent just 2010 at Headingley Carnegie before asking for an early release from his contract to return to the NRL.

Say what?

Jason Nightingale on New Zealand’s team: “We have a lot more frontline international players than in past years, depth is the biggest thing. A lot has come from the scouting of players for the NRL. There are a lot of good players from New Zealand now playing in the Australian system. The opportunities at home are limited with just the Warriors.”

Stanley Gene on PNG’s first hitout last week: “Our boys gave two hundred percent on Sunday and I think the Australians will still be feeling some of the hits the boys put on them,”

Jeremy Smith on the Kiwis: "I'm not too worried about PNG. I'm worried about what we need to improve on and what we can get right. PNG's the last of my worries," Smith quipped.

Gene again taking positives from the Australia game: “We kept them scoreless for a thirty minute period which is a real positive...not many other nations could say they have done that.

Key info
@ Rotorua Stadium, Rotorua

TV Coverage
Four Nations Weekend 2 Preview – Friday, 7:00pm, Sky Sports 2
LIVE – Saturday 5:45am, Sky Sports 2
Replays – Throughout the weekend on Sky Sports
Highlights – Sunday, 5:05pm, BBC Two

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