PNG will field strongest team against USA, says Michael Marum
Last Updated: 05/11/17 4:21pm
Papua New Guinea coach Michael Marum has ruled out wholesale changes next week as they aim to end Ireland's quarter-final hopes by beating the United States.
PNG took a huge step towards a potential last-eight showdown with England by edging a spirited Ireland 14-6 in a scrappy game in Port Moresby.
The Kumuls will be overwhelming favourites to see off a United States side that have been beaten heavily in their opening two World Cup matches.
But Marum has vowed to field his strongest available team next Sunday to make sure of a quarter-final place.
"We'll still have to pick our best side for next weekend," he said.
"We have to respect USA, but there's a couple of boys waiting to come in and play a game so there might be one or two changes."
Michael McIlorum's try capped a strong start by Ireland but PNG took control and went into the break 8-6 up courtesy of tries from Castleford-bound Garry Lo and Nene Macdonald.
The Wolfhounds were still in the contest until Watson Boas' breakaway try two minutes from time.
"They played tough right from the start and rattled a couple of our boys," said PNG full-back David Mead.
"They came out firing and held that intensity for 80 minutes. They're certainly a quality side and you can see why they beat Italy last week.
"There's a lot of Super League experience in that side and I thought they were just as tough as some of our PNG boys.
"They ran hard for 80 minutes and kept us on our toes in the back end of that second half."