The Kuki’s aren’t intimidated by being drawn to play what many are saying is the Group of Death at the Rugby League Cup set to play out in 2021.
The recent draw saw Fiji grouped with champions Australia, Italy, and Scotland, and New Zealand has drawn against Ireland, Jamaica, and Lebanon. But the Cook Islands’ team, who have only just qualified, have been locked in to go up against what many think of as the Group of Death. They are set to play against the terrifying Tongans, stars of the recent upsets against Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Wales.
Far from being cowed, Tony Iro, Kuki coach, said that his players were excited at the prospect of testing their merits against those of some of the world’s top teams. He conceded that Tonga will be the favourite, but said that everyone is looking forward to the challenge they’ll face in the game against the vastly improved players from Papua New Guinea. He described the Welsh as being on a bit of a downturn but stated that anything could happen before the games began.
Iro went on to say that they would be facing tough games in a strong pool but he thinks that if the Cook Islands get the right team together and play well they’ve got as much of a chance of winning as anyone else. He ended by saying that their goal, for now, was simply to make it to the tournament quarterfinals.
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