PNG v Fiji: Johnston and Kikau headline all star cast

If you like your footy hard, tough and fast then all roads lead to Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night for the showdown between the Kumuls and the Bati.

After Samoa and Cook Islanads have the set the scene in the earlier game it's over to PNG and Fiji to light up the stadium with some ferocious defence and flashy attack in their first clash since November, 2019.

On that occasion it was the Bati prevailing 22-20 in a thriller in Christchurch with Viliame Kikau and Tui Kamikamica among the tryscorers and Maika Sivo running for 214 metres.

Sivo has made a successful return from a knee reconstruction for the Eels and will be keen to add to his tally of two Test caps while Kikau will make his 12th appearance for his country and look to revive the glory days of the 2017 World Cup when Fiji made an emotional charge all the way to the semi-finals.

Team News
Papua New Guinea

Tryscoring machine Alex Johnston is set to win a third Test cap for the Kumuls as part of a powerful squad which also includes reigning Dally M Centre of the Year Justin Olam, Broncos winger David Mead and Roosters half Lachlan Lam. Six players from the PNG Hunters in the Hostplus Cup will feature including Terry Wapi, Wartovo Puara, Sherwin Tanabi and Sylvester Namo.

Sydney Roosters back Kevin Naiqama will again captain the Bati with Panthers powerhouse Viliame Kikau to act as his deputy. Among the other NRL stars in the squad are Maika Sivo, Mikaele Ravalawa, Tui Kamikamica, Brandon Wakeham and Taane Milne while the Fijian competition is well represented by the likes of Mesake Kurititoga (Nadera Panthers), Waqasaqa Qiolevu (Yasawa Saints), Nasoki Ralulu (Bomballa Blue Heelers) and Ratu Inoke Vasuturaga (Kinoya Eagles).

Key match-up
Alex Johnston v Mikaele Ravalawa
The Rabbitohs' greatest tryscorer of all time is a silky smooth mover who appears to glide across the turf at times while the Dragons' Fijian flyer favours brute strength as he method of making it to the tryline. Two of the NRL's most potent attacking weapons on the wing and ready to light up Campbelltown Stadium if they are given an inch of space. Whether it's Johnston going around his rivals or Ravalawa going over them, expect plenty of highlight reels from these two stars.

Stat attack
The Kumuls have played twice at Campbelltown Stadium for two wins while the Bati are 0-2 at this venue. The four internationals between the two sides have resulted in two wins apiece.

Justin Olam was in the thick of the action in 2018 when the Kumuls got the better of the Bati at this ground, scoring a try in the 26-14 triumph. The Storm star has scored six tries in nine Tests for the Kumuls.


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