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Papua New Guinea vs Fiji Tips - PNG back to top Fiji in Pacific Championship

jeremy-darke
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Last updated: 26 Oct 2023
Jeremy Darke 26 Oct 2023
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  • PNG Kumuls vs Fiji Bati predictions for Sunday’s NRL game
  • The last 8 meetings between Fiji and PNG have had a game total of less than 47.5 points.
  • Can Fiji put in a better performance?
Expired
PNG Kumuls
PNG will be in the hunt for another big win. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
  • PNG Kumuls vs Fiji Bati Tips
  • Head to Head 
  • PNG Kumuls Form
  • PNG Kumuls Team News
  • PNG Kumuls Team List
  • Fiji Bati Form
  • Fiji Bati Team News
  • Fiji Bati Team List

PNG Kumuls vs Fiji Bati Tips


The PNG Kumuls will go head-to-head with their old rugby league foe the Fiji Bati at Santos National Football Stadium, Port Moresby, on Sunday.

After both teams got a victory over the Cook Islands, this game will determine who finishes top of the group. PNG are favourites after the Fijians did not reach expectations against the Aitu, winning by just a four-point margin, whereas PNG blew them out of the water. 

The last eight games, dating back to 1998, between PNG and Fiji have all gone Under the 47.5 game total set by the bookies, so I will be following that trend. 

Zac Laybutt scored two tries for PNG last game and is giving great value as an anytime try scorer against Fiji.

  • PNG have had a winning margin over 8.5 points in 2 of their last 3 victories against Fiji.
  • In all 9 games played between PNG and Fiji the game total has gone over 47.5 just once.
  • Zac Laybutt scored 2 tries against the Cook Islands.
  • Zac Laybutt scored the first try against the Cook Islands.

Head to Head 


PNG lead the historical head-to-head 6-3 against Fiji. They last met in June 2022, with PNG getting up 24-14.

PNG Kumuls Form


PNG ran ragged against the Cook Islands, beating the Aitu 46-10 in the first week of the Pacific Championships.

Nene Macdonald had four tries in the match and Liam Lam made three try assists, as PNG took full advantage of the 58% territory they achieved through 576 more run metres than the Cook Islands.

PNG Kumuls Team News


Justin Olam has fallen victim to a knee injury, preventing his participation in the Kumuls' opening match against the Cook Islands. Both he and fellow center Rodrick Tai are now ruled out for the entire tournament.

In the absence of Tai, Benji Kot has been promoted from the bench to the starting lineup. Edwin Ipape, returning from suspension, will now assume the hooker position, replacing Judah Rimbu. Rhyse Martin, who has also been brought back, is set to start in the backrow instead of Jacob Alick.

Additionally, Wellington Albert and Keven Appo have been introduced into Justin Holbrook's interchange rotation, while either Liam Horne or Nixon Putt will be omitted from the 17.

PNG Kumuls Team List


1. Alex Johnston
2. Robert Derby
3. Zac Laybutt
4. Benji Kot
5. Nene MacDonald
6. Kyle Laybutt
7. Lachlan Lam
8. Epel Kapinias
9. Edwin Ipape
10. Valentine Richard
11. Rhyse Martin
12. Dan Russell
13. Jack de Belin

Interchange

14. Judah Rimbu
15. Wellington Albert 
16. Keven Appo
17. Jacob Alick

Reserves

18. Liam Horne
19. Nixon Putt
20. Junior Rop
21. MacKenzie Yei

Fiji Bati Form


The Bati got away with a slender victory against the Cook Islands in week 2, trailing for 74 minutes in the match before Sunia Turuva scored for Fiji, breaking the hearts of the Aitu.

It certainly wasn’t the result that was expected with Fiji tipped to win by 20+ points. However, completing just 28/42 sets put real pressure on Fiji’s defensive line for long periods throughout the match.

Fiji Bati Team News


King Vuniyayawa is set to commence as a prop, teaming up in the forward pack with captain Tui Kamikamica, while Gordon Whippy will assume a spot on the bench.

Furthermore, Mesake Ravonu has been included among the substitutes, while Sirilo Lovokuro and Watisoni Waqanisaravi will not be part of the bench for this match.

Fiji Bati Team List


1. Jahream Bula
2. Maika Sivo
3. Sunia Turuva
4. Waqa Blake
5. Mikaele Ravalawa
6. Kurt Donoghoe
7. Brandon Wakeham
8. Tui Kamikamica
14. Noah Nailagoliva
10. King Vuniyayawa
11. Kitione Kautoga
13. Taane Milne
15. Caleb Navale
  
Interchange

9. Penioni Tagituimua
12. Apisalome Saukuru
16. Gordon Whippy
19. Mesake Ravonu

Reserves

18. Jason Qareqare
17. Watisoni Waqanisaravi
20. Sirilo Lovokuro
21. Pio Seci 

Verdict

PNG will be too powerful for the Fijians up front and will win this game by over the 8.5 point line.
 
If history is anything to go by, this game is going to hit the under as it has done in the last 8 meetings between Fiji and PNG.
 
Zac Laybutt was first to score for PNG and I expect that he will be Johnny on the spot once again.
Best Bet1: PNG -8.5 Handicap Line @23/24 at Ladbrokes Australia - 3 Units
Best Bet2: Under 47.5 Game Total @9/10 at Neds - 3 Units
Best Bet3: Zac Laybutt Anytime Tryscorer @8/5 at Ladbrokes Australia - 2 Units
Best Bet4: Zac Laybutt First Tryscorer @14/1 at Neds - 1 Unit
PNG -8.5
Handicap Line
@23/24 - 3 Units
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Under 47.5
Game Total
@9/10 - 3 Units
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Zac Laybutt
Anytime Tryscorer
@8/5 - 2 Units
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Zac Laybutt
First Tryscorer
@14/1 - 1 Unit
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Papua New Guinea v Fiji