Goroka expect a big challenge from Bulls

Goroka are looking to attack Southcity with pace come Saturday night.

The Papua New Guinean representative team arrived in Wagga on Wednesday evening ahead of its clash with the Group Nine premiers.

Expecting the Bulls to be the bigger of the two sides, coach Glen Mondave is looking to use his team’s strength.

“Southcity we know is a big side so we want to control the pace of the footy and play our style,” Mondave said.

“Our style is a lot faster and flatter.”

The team were put through to training sessions on Thursday, including one at 5.45am.

Mondave doesn’t expect fitness to be a problem after putting in five months worth of preparation.

“We’ve done a bit of altitude training,” he said.

“We do uphill running and it’s also part of conditioner.”

The trip is the first experience of life outside Papua New Guinea and Wagga has come at quite the surprise.

“It’s way better than what we expected," Mondave said.

“We thought it was going to be a country town, but it has everything.

“We’ve had a tour through most parts of Wagga and it is beautiful.”

The representative team had players from 24 teams to chose from.

Goroka president Jobby Bal believes the team will represent their region proudly.

“For most of the boys it is a culture shock for them,” Bal said.

“Most of them haven’t travelled to Aussie so it is a good experience for them.

“They are good boys to play rugby so we will give a good game.”

He hopes it could lead to better things for them.

Southcity are almost at full strength for the clash.

They will be without star halfback Kyle McCarthy, who is still struggling with an ankle injury, however welcome back Nathan Rose for his first pre-season hit out.

Rose missed the West Wyalong Knockout after off-season knee surgery and will join Rogan Price in the halves.

Bulls captain-coach Nick Skinner isn’t sure what to expect from their international rivals.

“There is no doubt they are going to be tough and are going to be full of energy but it is a little bit of the unknown,” Skinner said.

“It should be exciting playing someone from another country.

“They live and breathe rugby league over there so it will be good.

“I don’t really know what to expect, but we just have to try and play as good as we can.”

The main game is slated to kick-off at 5pm, however gates will open at 2pm for the curtain-raiser.