NZ Hawks face big PNG test

19 Aug, 2014

A tough test looms for the New Zealand Hawks against PNG today in the International Cup semi final.

The match will take place 11.30am Eastern Standard Time, at Ransford Oval in Melbourne.

Papua New Guinea have long been one of the top teams in International AFL. They are one of three nations that have won the AFL International Cup, beating New Zealand in the final in 2008.

Known as the Mosquitos, Papua New Guinea play a hard, fast brand of football. The squad is very young, with an average age of under 21. Comparatively, their squad is shorter than the New Zealand Hawks.

While Papua New Guinea had two strong wins in their first matches, their 3rd game was a narrow loss to South Africa, an upset result.

NZ Hawks player Chris Mundell described the challenge of facing PNG. “They’re always very competitive, and it will be all on today at Royal Park, because the carrot for all the four teams in the semis is the chance to play the final on the MCG.”

The New Zealand Hawks on the other hand have enjoyed the perfect campaign so far. With three wins from three matches, including a hard fought victory over the USA, they will be confident of extending their winning streak.

In team news for the New Zealand Hawks, Levi Inglis and Jay Johnson will return to the team, with Andrew Christensen and Brendan Clark making way.

New Zealand Hawks Playing Team

1 Shane Leat
2 Kyle Smith
3 Matthew Van Wijk
4 Michael Boyce
6 Samuel McKenzie
7 Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas
8 Jay Johnson
10 Andrew Howison
11 James Roughan
12 Tim Morton
13 Benjamin Miller
14 Nicholas Fisher
15 David Rattenbury
16 Joseph Baker-Thomas
17 Christopher Mundell
18 Adam Simpson
19 Justin Clark
20 Levi Inglis
22 William Gregson
23 Aaron Harris
25 Ty Smith
27 Cameron Lubransky
33 Michael Gregson
34 Jared Court

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