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Watch out for rising Kumuls: Lam

By Ilya Gridneff 25/09/2009 10:16:49 AM Comments (0)

Excited Papua New Guinea coach Adrian Lam has warned the Prime Minister's XIII that his Kumuls are getting closer to an historic victory over an Australian team.

The visiting Australians can expect to face both the flair and physical challenge from the home side in Sunday's clash in Port Moresby.

Lam admits he still faces a hurdle with players tending to hero-worship NRL stars but says the local team has also made great progress in recent times.

"The hardest part is having a function before the game and all your players are getting autographs of the opposition," he said.

"That's a bit awkward.

"But this week at training I had goose bumps, and I showed them to the boys, because when I first played here in 1993 to where they are now is just incredible," he said.

"We have come forward, we still haven't beaten Australia and we're striving to do that," he said.

Lam admits it's a tough challenge to beat PM's XIII coach Mal Meninga's team of seasoned NRL players but reflects on his team's 2008 World Cup campaign in Australia where they proved they were developing into a formidable league force.

"PNG's biggest strength is the ability to be flamboyant and to throw a ball out of the arse, so to speak," he said.

"To off load in places you normally wouldn't and have the ability to go 100 metres for a try," he said.

"We've worked really hard on that, keeping the flamboyancy but keeping the discipline and a defensive structure that can hold up the best in the world," he said.

The Australian side arrives in Port Moresby on Friday afternoon for the annual clash that last year saw Australia beat PNG 53-30.

North Queensland Cowboys forward Tyson Martin has made his first trip to PNG to be on debut for the Kumuls.

Lam said Tyson, 19, a refrigerator repairman, is one to watch despite starting on the bench.

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