Sport: PNG rely on familiar combos for league test

12:25 pm on 5 May 2016

The Papua New Guinea Kumuls believe they could hold an advantage heading into their rugby league test with the Fiji Bati on Saturday.

Coach Michael Marum selected 11 players from the Hunters Super Cup team in his squad for the match.

PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum.

PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum. Photo: Supplied

Marum, who also coaches the Hunters, said with the limited preparation time, existing relationships could be a key in the buildup.

"We keep the same combinations going forward, especially for a short turnaround. Our focus is really just more mainly bonding with the players together, getting them to know each other well before they get out there and play," he said.

"Having those 11 players from the Hunters, together with the other boys overseas, they should form that combination and should know each other's play before Saturday."

Marum hopes he has the right mix of players to try and exact revenge on the Fiji Bati.

Fiji won last year's encounter 22-10 and have named a team including NRL stars like Sisa Waqa, Kevin Naiqama and Akuila Uate in their lineup.

Marum brought Gold Coast Titans David Mead and Nene Macdonald back into the international fold from NRL duty.

The coach also expected some impact off the bench from the Canberra Raiders Kurt Baptiste.

"He does a good job for the Canberra Raiders there. He's a quality player, we just want him to know the boys a bit more. At the moment they are getting along really well. He'd be one of those players we'd be looking (forward) to come off the bench with impact and lead the boys around the park when he gets on"

PNG International and Canberra Raiders hooker, Kurt Baptiste.

PNG International and Canberra Raiders hooker, Kurt Baptiste. Photo: Raiders TV