13th November 2019, 13:43 | englandrl
After the absolute whirlwind that was Goroka, we are now in Port Moresby ahead of our second test against the Papua New Guinea Orchids.
The game in Goroka was absolutely unreal and the atmosphere was probably the craziest I’ve ever experienced. There were literally thousands of fans pushing to the front cheering for not just the Orchids but cheering for Rugby League in general.
To see what it meant to the people of Goroka to have an international Women’s fixture between the Orchids and England in their town was unbelievable. I saw on social media that the crowd was around 7000 which is nearly a third of the population of Goroka which just goes to show how big the appetite for international Rugby League is in Papua New Guinea. It is their national sport after all.
I wasn’t involved in the game, but it was great to see the girls go out there and put on a fantastic show for the crowd and to come away with the victory. I was really impressed with the effort and desire from the team and there was a really good mood in camp following the victory.
Of course, personally it’s always difficult to watch on from the sidelines but we are a group out here on tour and as the England Performance Unit. Craig spoke to me in the lead up to the game and explained that I wouldn’t be involved but it wasn’t down to training or performance and that I would likely be involved in Port Moresby.
It was good to know that the decision wasn’t down to my attitude or performances in training and to be reassured that if I trained well, I would feature in the second test. But, in all fairness, as soon as I was told I just immediately switched my mindset to supporting the girls in the days leading up to the Goroka test.
If there is one thing that has been evident this tour it is that this group of players are extremely close and tight knit. We are really supportive of each other, help each other maintain high standards within camp and push each other to be not only better players but better people as well.
Since arriving in Port Moresby, we have noticed yet another change in climate to that of Goroka. While the Eastern Highlands were warm and humid, in Port Moresby it’s a heat I’ve never experienced before. Training this week has been physically demanding but it is exactly what we need to prepare for Saturday’s game.
We’ve got another couple of training sessions to work on a few small details ahead of this weekend’s test but we are determined to leave Papua New Guinea with a 2-0 series victory.