Sport: PNG Orchids step up World Cup prep

4:52 pm on 20 October 2017

The Papua New Guinea women's rugby league team kick their World Cup preparations up a notch this evening with a match against a Mayor's Invitational side in Northern Queensland.

The Orchids were beaten 42-4 by Australia, in their first ever international match, in Port Moresby four weeks ago.

The PNG Orchids and Australian Jilaroos huddle after their test match in Port Moresby.

The PNG Orchids and Australian Jilaroos huddle after their test match in Port Moresby. Photo: Facebook/PNG Orchids

Captain Cathy Neap said playing against the world champions was big learning curve.

"From the match against Jillaroos we've learnt a lot of things like how skilful they are and how tough they are," she said.

"How they come together as a team and to perform at the highest level and to play against the World Champions we learnt that we have to be fit and skilful and reach that standard that we need to reach to compete".

Originally from Enga Province in PNG's Highlands, Neap was introduced to the 13-a-side game in the inaugural Port Moresby Women's Rugby League Premiership in 2011 and has also represented her country in rugby sevens.

The Papua New Guinea Orchids.

The Papua New Guinea Orchids. Photo: Facebook/PNG Orchids

She said the journey to establishing a women's national rugby league team has been a long one.

"We've always been trying to get the condition to play internationally. For Port Moresby it's been six years now since we started playing but for other Highlands zones like Goroka and Simbu and other places they've been playing for more than ten years.

"So getting recognition now has been a great achievement for the girls and a big thank you for the PNG Rugby League for supporting...women's rugby league".

"Which will help us get together and play together as a team and know how our teammates play and to again compete a team and to gain that experience to go and play in the World Cup".

Meanwhile the Orchids match in Innisfail precedes a clash between Mate Ma'a Tonga and Italy, in their final pre-World Cup hit-out.