Tuesday, October 10, 2023

PNG Kumuls vs Cook Islands: World Ranking at Stake Pacific Cup Challenge

In the Pacific Cup Challenge, the PNG Kumuls and the Cook Islands rugby league teams lock horns at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on October, 2023. Both squads come into this contest fresh from impressive showings at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, each eager to stake their claim as elite rugby league outfits.

World Ranking at Stake

In the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, both teams delivered noteworthy performances. The PNG Kumuls advanced to the quarter-finals but bowed out against the eventual champions, England. Their journey included a remarkable victory over Tonga in the group stage and a fierce challenge against England in the quarter-finals.

Similarly, the Cook Islands reached the knockout stage of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, where they faced eventual runners-up, Australia. Their path was marked by victories over Wales and Lebanon in the group stage.

World Rugby League Rankings

The PNG Kumuls occupy the 6th spot in the global rugby league rankings, while the Cook Islands are positioned at 13th out of 51 participating countries. PNG will have to beat both Cook Islands and Fiji to increase the ranking. 

Both PNG and Fiji are at this sweet spot (45% winning margin) which means that losing a game can cause relegation down the rank.

The PNG Kumuls need to take note of this ranking seriously as they take the field during the Pacific Cup Challenge.

PNG Kumuls Squad (Pacific Test Team List)

Alex Johnston (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Benji Kot (PNG Hunters), Dan Russell (St. George Illawarra Dragons), Edwin Ipape (Leigh Leopards), Epel Kapinias (PNG Hunters), Jack de Belin (St George Illawarra Dragons), Jacob Alick (Gold Coast Titans), Judah Rimbu (PNG Hunters), Junior Rop (PNG Hunters), Justin Olam (Melbourne Storm), Kyle Laybutt (Townsville Blackhawks), Lachlan Lam (Leigh Leopards), Liam Horne (Castleford Tigers), Nene Macdonald (Leeds Rhinos), Nixon Putt (Castleford Tigers), Rhyse Martin (Leeds Rhinos), Robert Derby (North Queensland Cowboys), Rodrick Tai (PNG Hunters), Valentine Richard (Central Qld Capras), Wellington Albert (London Broncos), Zac Laybutt (North Queensland Cowboys).

Here is the schedule for the Pacific Cup, check it out

pacific championship 2023 draw - png vs cook islands live stream

Cook Island Squad (Pacific Team List)

Tevin Arona, Rhys Dakin, Esom Ioka, Kadiyae Ioka, Kayal Iro, Makahesi Makatoa, Justin Estall-Makirere, Steven Marsters, Esan Marsters, Alvin Maungaati, Davvy Moale, Takai Mokohar, Malachi Morgan, Rua Ngatikaura, Pride Pettersen-Robati, Lucky Pokipoki, Reuben Porter, William Samuel, Brad Takairangi, Zane Tetevano, Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano

Anticipated Showdown at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby

The PNG Kumuls and the Cook Islands will play each other in rugby league on 15th October 2023. This is called the Pacific Cup Challenge. Both teams have good players and want to win. The winning team will move up in the world rankings for rugby league.

The match will be in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The PNG Kumuls will have the home advantage, but the Cook Islands are a good team and want to win.

It is hard to say who will win the match, but it will be close and exciting.

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