Pacific Championship 2023 Week 1 Discussion

Big Pete

Big Pete

International Captain
Mar 12, 2008
31,503
24,024
Australia vs. Samoa
Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Saturday 14 October 2023
Kick Off: 7:10pm (AEST)


Australia-Banner.png

1. James Tedesco 2. Dylan Edwards 3. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 4. Kotoni Staggs 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Payne Haas 9. Ben Hunt 10. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui 11. Cameron Murray 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo

14. Harry Grant 15. Lindsay Collins 16. Patrick Carrigan 17. Reuben Cotter

18. Nicho Hynes 19. Jake Trbojevic 20. Thomas Flegler 21. Valentine Holmes

Samoa-Banner.png

1. Sualauvi Faalogo 2. Murray Taulagi 3. Izack Tago 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Brian To'o 6. Stephen Crichton 7. Daejarn Asi 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 10. Junior Paulo 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Keenan Palasia

14. Spencer Leniu 15. Terrell May 16. Heilum Luki 17. Ronald Volkman

18. Royce Hunt 19. Justin Matamua 20. Greg Marzhew 21. Tommy Talau

Papua New Guinea vs. Cook Islands
Santos National Football Stadium, Sunday 15 October 2023
Kick Off: 3:00pm


PNGBanner.png

1. Alex Johnston 2. Robert Derby 3. Zac Laybutt 4. Rodrick Tai 5. Nene Macdonald 6. Kyle Laybutt 7. Lachlan Lam 8. Epel Kapinias 9. Judah Rimbu 10. Valentine Richard 11. Jacob Alick 12. Dan Russell 13. Jack de Belin

14. Liam Horne 15. Nixon Putt 16. Junior Rop 17. Benji Kott

18. Cruise Ten 19. Rhyse Martin 20. Wellington Albert 21. Justin Olam

CKIM2022TEAM.png

1. Esom Ioka 2. Malachi Morgan 3. Kayal Iro 4. Esan Marsters 5. Steven Marsters 6. Brad Takairangi 7. Tevin Arona 8. Davvy Moale 9. Ruatapu Ngatikaura 10. Makahesi Makatoa 11. Zane Tetevano 12. Reuben Porter 13. Pride Petterson-Robati

14. William Samuel 15. Rhys Dakin 16. Justin Makirere 17. Kadiyae Ioka

18. Takai Mokohar 19. Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano 20. Alvin Maungatti 21. Lucky Pokipoki
 
I have a dinner appointment so won't be watching this live unfortunately but looking forward to the replay and seeing how the Broncs all go.
 
We also have the English Super League Grand Final in the early hours of the morning between the Warriors/Dragons. It's the Jai Field & Bevan French combo taking on the Tomkins/Pearce combo, Catalans coming in after some last minute heroics from Tomkins.

Always look forward to the internationals and think it's a nice way to round out the season. It gives players across all the different competitions recognition and even puts a few in the shopping window for clubs. I think there's a mentality to get behind the minnows and support the growth of internationals but I just can't bring myself to support against Australia.

Brand new backline 2-5 with a couple of familiar faces in Staggs and Cobbo. The big discussion leading into the tour was the retention of captain James Tedesco. Teddy did score a double in the Kangaroos 2022 World Cup victory but that was coming off a really strong end to the season.

I definitely think he's fortunate, but I think it typifies the mind-set of Meninga and the selectors. Players like Cherry-Evans and Hunt find themselves in the team as well and while you can't begrudge either selection, if you have one eye towards the 2026 RLWC, you'd have to say they'd remain long odds to get there. It suggests to me that Australia is in a transitional period and we probably won't see the nucleus of the team take shape until next year.

So Tedesco earns one final hurrah and it allows Mal and co. to get a handle on their structures before they really start divising the direction of the team heading into 2026. Meanwhile players like Haas, Murray, Carrigan, Cobbo, Cotter, Grant etc. get some much needed time in the green and gold to build comradarie.

Certainly not the popular decision and I think of the players in the squad, most would have been happy to give Edwards the #1 but here we are.
 
I think there's a mentality to get behind the minnows and support the growth of internationals but I just can't bring myself to support against Australia.

Brand new backline 2-5 with a couple of familiar faces in Staggs and Cobbo. The big discussion leading into the tour was the retention of captain James Tedesco. Teddy did score a double in the Kangaroos 2022 World Cup victory but that was coming off a really strong end to the season.
Couple years back it was hard to support the Aust team when there were no broncos in it, but now we've got
Staggs, Cobbo, Patty and Payne all playing ... c'mon the green and gold broncos!!!
 
No disrespect to Kotoni, but I just find it odd he's in the side. I know there's injuries and players are repping other countries, but his year while good, on the whole didn't scream "I must be picked"

Hope he goes well though and it can push him further
 
No disrespect to Kotoni, but I just find it odd he's in the side. I know there's injuries and players are repping other countries, but his year while good didn't scream "I must be picked"

Hope he goes well though and it can push him further
It'd be interesting to see how far down the depth chart the selectors had to go.

Wighton retired/suspended
Holmes turned his camera on
Graham never recovered from his sternum injury.

Both Latrell and Best seem to be left side specialists. Regardless Latrell has that hand injury and of course Turbo is struggling to stay fit.
 
Couple years back it was hard to support the Aust team when there were no broncos in it, but now we've got
Staggs, Cobbo, Patty and Payne all playing ... c'mon the green and gold broncos!!!
With the lax scheduling and the pandemic, it feels like we lost a generation. Players like Tedesco, Wighton, Turbo, Cook etc. didn't get the amount of caps they deserved and it hurt their standing and profile in the game.

Ultimately that's what these Tests achieve for the game. It helps boost the profile of their stars, Test player, 30+ caps puts them in the history books and makes it easier to sell on the news.

It feels like we've gone from the Maroons dynasty of Smith, JT, Billy, Cronk from the RLWC 2017 straight to the 2022 RLWC.
 
With the lax scheduling and the pandemic, it feels like we lost a generation. Players like Tedesco, Wighton, Turbo, Cook etc. didn't get the amount of caps they deserved and it hurt their standing and profile in the game.

Ultimately that's what these Tests achieve for the game. It helps boost the profile of their stars, Test player, 30+ caps puts them in the history books and makes it easier to sell on the news.
Agreed.

Even someone like Payne has only played 3 tests... he's won the broncos poty 4yrs straight now and has basically been the number 1 prop in the game throughout that time.

Just goes to show how few tests have been played since covid.
 
No disrespect to Kotoni, but I just find it odd he's in the side. I know there's injuries and players are repping other countries, but his year while good, on the whole didn't scream "I must be picked"

Hope he goes well though and it can push him further
I disagree to be honest. Obviously Latrell is better than him but he isn’t playing but he is the next best centre in the game after Herbie and Critta. Best doesn’t come close to kotoni, Graham sucked the second half of the year and Val was seemingly going to be picked on the wing. Only bloke out there who would pip him that plays for Australia is Latrell and he is a left side player. I think he had a terrific year especially the back half. Look his defence within the system is the only flaw in his game but I think that can be put down to that entire edge of him, Cobbo and Reyno. Kotoni was awesome this year and completely deserves to play in the Green and Gold.
 
We also have the English Super League Grand Final in the early hours of the morning between the Warriors/Dragons. It's the Jai Field & Bevan French combo taking on the Tomkins/Pearce combo, Catalans coming in after some last minute heroics from Tomkins.

Always look forward to the internationals and think it's a nice way to round out the season. It gives players across all the different competitions recognition and even puts a few in the shopping window for clubs. I think there's a mentality to get behind the minnows and support the growth of internationals but I just can't bring myself to support against Australia.

Brand new backline 2-5 with a couple of familiar faces in Staggs and Cobbo. The big discussion leading into the tour was the retention of captain James Tedesco. Teddy did score a double in the Kangaroos 2022 World Cup victory but that was coming off a really strong end to the season.

I definitely think he's fortunate, but I think it typifies the mind-set of Meninga and the selectors. Players like Cherry-Evans and Hunt find themselves in the team as well and while you can't begrudge either selection, if you have one eye towards the 2026 RLWC, you'd have to say they'd remain long odds to get there. It suggests to me that Australia is in a transitional period and we probably won't see the nucleus of the team take shape until next year.

So Tedesco earns one final hurrah and it allows Mal and co. to get a handle on their structures before they really start divising the direction of the team heading into 2026. Meanwhile players like Haas, Murray, Carrigan, Cobbo, Cotter, Grant etc. get some much needed time in the green and gold to build comradarie.

Certainly not the popular decision and I think of the players in the squad, most would have been happy to give Edwards the #1 but here we are.

I guess you could argue the 2026 side is starting to take shape already or at least a few guys have a foot in the door. This was also going to be Cleary’s side until he got injured. Looking to 2026, I think most of the forwards and spine are set, with really only questions around the second row and of course the entire back 5.

But from this squad, I think we are already seeing a fair bit of the plan take shape:

3. Staggs
4. Mitchell/Hammer
5. Cobbo
6. Munster (Mam might have something to say about that if he backs up next season like this one)
7. Cleary
8. Tino
9. Grant
10. Haas
11. Murray
12. Martin
13. Yeo

15. Carrigan
16. Cotter/Collins
17. Collins/Cotter

Then you have Flegler as well

Then you have guys in the background that will depend on which team they decide to go with who are currently with Tonga and Samoa

Then you have Walsh, Ponga, Best, Fifita, Burton who have been there / will be there in the future.
 
I disagree to be honest. Obviously Latrell is better than him but he isn’t playing but he is the next best centre in the game after Herbie and Critta. Best doesn’t come close to kotoni, Graham sucked the second half of the year and Val was seemingly going to be picked on the wing. Only bloke out there who would pip him that plays for Australia is Latrell and he is a left side player. I think he had a terrific year especially the back half. Look his defence within the system is the only flaw in his game but I think that can be put down to that entire edge of him, Cobbo and Reyno. Kotoni was awesome this year and completely deserves to play in the Green and Gold.

Perhaps I didn't phrase it well, and might also be I'm used to seeing him play for Tonga, but yeah it's just a perception thing after years of having fullbacks at centre it's weird seeing Tones there. I honestly thought Best might be there after his Origin and he had a pretty good year
 
Girls are playing if anyone’s interested

Jillaroos v Kiwi Ferns

Upton has just scored off an Ali break

We have Ali + Robbo for Aus, Hufanga and Fogavini for NZ

It’s a bit of a joke that Ciesiolka missed out for Sergis who hasn’t played for most of the season
 
I feel like I must've missed something with Best this year for him to be getting so much talk like he's now a top 5 centre in the comp.

He had a great origin game, but it was a dead rubber in Sydney... and Qld seemed to be looking elsewhere after having a go for 20-30mins.

For the most part I thought the narrative coming out of Newcastle was that Best was free to go and there was talk they weren't offering him a contract. It was almost looking like Super League could be on the cards.

Then at the back end of the year he's sitting on Ponga's favoured side feeding him the ball in Turbo 2021 mode, as they came from the clouds. I reckon you could put just about any centre outside Ponga in that kind of form and they'd look like an $800k signing for the tigers
 
I feel like I must've missed something with Best this year for him to be getting so much talk like he's now a top 5 centre in the comp.

He had a great origin game, but it was a dead rubber in Sydney... and Qld seemed to be looking elsewhere after having a go for 20-30mins.

For the most part I thought the narrative coming out of Newcastle was that Best was free to go and there was talk they weren't offering him a contract. It was almost looking like Super League could be on the cards.

Then at the back end of the year he's sitting on Ponga's favoured side feeding him the ball in Turbo 2021 mode, as they came from the clouds. I reckon you could put just about any centre outside Ponga in that kind of form and they'd look like an $800k signing for the tigers

You’re not wrong, and even though Kotoni is a blue, we know how the NSWRL work so it wouldn’t have surprised me if Best got thrown a jersey.
 
I feel like I must've missed something with Best this year for him to be getting so much talk like he's now a top 5 centre in the comp.

He had a great origin game, but it was a dead rubber in Sydney... and Qld seemed to be looking elsewhere after having a go for 20-30mins.

For the most part I thought the narrative coming out of Newcastle was that Best was free to go and there was talk they weren't offering him a contract. It was almost looking like Super League could be on the cards.

Then at the back end of the year he's sitting on Ponga's favoured side feeding him the ball in Turbo 2021 mode, as they came from the clouds. I reckon you could put just about any centre outside Ponga in that kind of form and they'd look like an $800k signing for the tigers
I agree very overrated but in terms of discussing why Kotoni is there it seems logical to compare him with an origin centre who finished the season in good form. Might just be me but does it not? I haven’t seen anyone on here rate him specifically unless you are talking the wider community aka blues fans who think what he did was that special.
 
I agree very overrated but in terms of discussing why Kotoni is there it seems logical to compare him with an origin centre who finished the season in good form. Might just be me but does it not? I haven’t seen anyone on here rate him specifically unless you are talking the wider community aka blues fans who think what he did was that special.
More the wider community... didn't Best get put up for centre of the year as well?

It's like one good game in an origin dead rubber and then getting fed the ball from Ponga, when the coach finally came to his senses, has elevated Best to top tier status.
 
This could end up a bit of a flogging looking at that Samoan spine Crichton the only real first grader and he's playing in the 6 jersey.

Even the forward pack looks a bit light when you compare it to Haas, Tino, Yeo, Patty, Martin, etc.
 
I don't know If watching this game is a good idea, just seeing the Broncos players is bringing back memories
 

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