23 Aug 2014

Sport: PNG confident in lead-up to AFL International Cup final

8:36 am on 23 August 2014

The results from Division 1 play-off matches at the AFL International Cup tournament in Melbourne saw Tonga finish sixth, Nauru 7th and Fiji 10th, of 18 men's teams.

In the Women's play-off matches, Fiji edged out Tonga in the battle for fith spot.

Meanwhile, six Pacific men and two Pacific women have been selected in the Men's and Women's 'world teams'.

They are John Ikupu (PNG), Peni Mahina (Tonga), Gideon Simon (VC)(PNG), Jonas Amwano (Nauru), Jiuta Vatutei (Fiji) and Amua Perika (PNG).

And the two selected for the Women's team are Malia Afuha'Amango (Tonga) and Salote Matakibau (Fiji),

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea AFL coach David Lake says his players have come on leaps and bounds since losing the International Cup final three years ago.

That defeat was against Ireland, who will again be their opponents in this afternoon's deciding match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Irish have gone through the past fortnight unbeaten while PNG bounced back from a loss against South Africa to overpower New Zealand in the semi finals.

Mosquitoes coach David Lake says his players are feeling confident and ready ahead of the big match.

"We're more organised. We've got a more willing bunch in the sense of taking instruction and understanding what we're trying to achieve and it's not about each individual, it's a collective. We're as prepared as well now as we've ever been. We're two very different countries: they've got a very big taste of gaelic footy in the way they go about it. They're very strong in the back half in winning the footy and they're very good when they get it down forward, they're very tall, and we'd like to think we could take control through the middle of the ground where we're probably at our strongest. Certainly they will need to be good to beat us."

Meanwhile in the earlier match today, Canada Northern Lights and Ireland will meet in the Women's Grand Final in Richmond.