Aussies brace for PNG clash: Hindmarsh - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies brace for PNG clash: Hindmarsh

By Ilya Gridneff 26/09/2008 06:39:18 PM Comments (0)

The Australian rugby league team facing Papua New Guinea this Sunday is not looking forward to a "brutal" physical contest.

Australia's Prime Minister's XIII was given a huge welcoming reception on Friday after arriving in rugby league-mad PNG.

Thousands of locals lined the streets and packed the Port Moresby airport hoping to catch a glimpse of their league heroes.

The Australians are in town for their annual clash with the Kumuls, PNG's national side, in what is one of the country's biggest sporting events.

Australia's captain Nathan Hindmarsh told AAP taking on the Kumuls at home was always a formidable task.

"I'm not looking forward to a tough match, no. They usually play very well up here, especially in front of a home crowd," he said.

"It's a much more brutal style of football up here. They're a lot tougher, they play tough, and they enjoy the hard game.

"We know we are in for a hard one."

More than 5,000 locals will pack into the city's small rugby league stadium for the match. Hundreds more will mill outside, while others up take vantage spots in the nearby trees.

PNG's footy passion, frustration with team performances and lack of discipline has led in the past to crowd violence and police firing tear gas.

The Australian PM's XIII drew 24-24 with PNG last year.

The Australian players will attend an official function on Friday night at the Australian High Commissioner's residence before taking part in HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns on Saturday.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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