PNG vs Ireland Preview

Papau New Guinea and Ireland both opened their World Cup accounts in convincing style. PNG battered Wales in Port Morseby whereas Ireland picked up a shock victory over Italy.

The Kumuls were electrifying from start to finish, the passion on display mixed with the intensity of their play style made them unbreakable to the Welsh. Ireland will once more come into this fixture as the rank outsider, but this time their will be a little more expectation on them, Ireland thrived on this as it gave them an opportunity to explore multiple playing styles.

I'm not sure how Ireland will face up to the task of matching the Kumuls enthusiasm, Ireland will certainly try though, they made a real nuisance of themselves last week with runners seaming to appear from no where to link on to sweeping lines moves.

Ireland: They certainly put on a show last week but I did feel like they were playing against an Italian side that did have a bad day at the office. One of their real strengths was their back shot plays, they weren't afraid to ship the ball wide and did find space on the edges most times of trying.

Ireland made 6 line breaks in total, which showcases just how good of a performance this was, one third of those line breaks came from Louis Mccarthy-Scarsbrook. The big man was a stand out performer and even earned himself a try towards the close of the game. He will definitely be on the Kumuls radar on Sunday.

Key Players: Liam Kay, Scott Grix, Louis Mccarthy-Scarsbrook

PNG: Papau New Guinea were never really asked many questions in defence, due to the fact they spent so much time attacking, so it's going to be interesting to see how they handle if and when Ireland pressure them close to the line.

For all the Kumuls NRL stars, it was a Queensland cup player that really caught my eye. Ase Boas, everything he touched turned into tries, bagging himself 3 try assists in total. He played the pivot role brilliantly and showed very good decision making with his passes and his runs.

Key Players: David Mead, Ase Boas, Rhyse Martin

Predictions: Ireland will look to move the ball wide again in an effort to create space, they were able to do this against Italy, however against PNG it could be a different story as the Kumuls line speed and intensity in defence will look to close the move down early with players shooting out of the line.

This could be a genius move tactically, or it could horribly back fire and Ireland get countless opportunities to run at a fractured defence. Unfortunately for Ireland I think it will be the first statement and this will mean the Irish will struggle to make metres.

The Kumuls with play with the same flair and frightening energy levels as usual, this means Ireland have to slow the play the ball down in defence if they don't want to be on the end of a similar scoreline to Wales.

Overall I think the pace of the game will eventually take it's toll on Ireland and PNG will see their second win of the tournament. The margin will be around the 30 points plus mark.



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