4 Nov 2022
Facing Brazil brings back memories of 2017 for Papua New Guinea's Albert
The Orchids were the newcomers to the World Cup scene in 2017 and now face debutants Brazil in their second round match.
By Milly McEvoy
Papua New Guinea captain Elsie Albert is practising the old maxim of treat others how you want to be treated as they prepare to face Brazil.
The Orchids secured an historic first World Cup win with a 34-12 defeat of 2017 semi-finalists Canada and now face debutants the Amazonas.
And Albert can empathize with their opponents as she still has strong memories from when Papua New Guinea were the new kids on the block at the last edition of the World Cup.
“We were in Brazil's shoes last time when we first came into the tournament and for us going into this tournament we don't want to look at other teams as not good enough,” the 26-year-old prop said.
“We look at every team as the same. When you are taking part in this type of event, it means you're the best.
“We're looking at every other team as equal and taking them as equal.”
Papua New Guinea will go into the match more prepared than England were for the opening game of the women’s Rugby League World Cup as they will have seen footage from Brazil’s third-ever game against the hosts.
The Amazonas previously beat Argentina in 2018, before taking on France in a warm-up match which they lost 16-4.
Brazil’s unknown quantity is not stressing out Albert as she has taken on board head coach Ben Jeffries’ advice.
She explained: “That’s the thing it's a bit hard when you don't know who you're playing against, but our coach is big on not looking at what the other team is doing and instead concentrating on ourselves.
“That was the big emphasis coming into this World Cup, so right now we're just looking at ourselves and how we're going to improve our individual performance.
“And that'll hopefully, give us a good understanding moving into our other games.”
Natalia Momberg scored Brazil’s first-ever try at a World Cup as the Amazonas represent not just their country but their continent, becoming the first South American team to play in any World Cup, men’s, women’s or wheelchair.
?? History maker.
Natalia Momberg scores Brazil's first ever Rugby League World Cup try!#RLWC2021 #ENGBRA | @BrasilRugbyXIII @bbcsport pic.twitter.com/Xyp1xFSx2W
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) November 1, 2022
Brazil head coach Paul Grundy was keen to allow his players’ innate personalities to shine in their first-ever World Cup game, despite the 72-4 defeat to England.
The players were dancing in the changing rooms before the match kicked off and carried that energy right through to the final whistle despite the lopsided scoreline.
And that verve for the game is something Grundy knows they will continue to show throughout their campaign.
He said: “The girls gave a lot in the England game, they are the sort of people who celebrate life and they have certainly taught me a lot.
“You can see how they celebrate, this isn’t practice, we haven’t taught them this, this is the way they are.”
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets