Cook Islands name team for Wales match
Cook Islands head coach David Fairleigh has named his 19 man squad to play Wales at The Gnoll on Sunday (14:00)
Tinirau Arona (Syndey Roosters)
Sam Brunton (Mounties Bundy)
Daniel Fepuleai (North Sydney Bears)
Jonathon Ford (Toulouse Olympique XIII)
Anthony Gelling (Wigan Warriors)
Isaac John (Penrith Panthers)
Keith Lulia (Bradford Bulls)
Lulia Lulia (Shell Harbour)
Sam Mataora (Canberra Raiders)
Joseph Matapuku (North Sydney Bears)
Dylan Napa (Sydney Roosters)
Dominique Peyroux (New Zealand Warriors)
Rea Pittman (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders)
Tupou Sopoaga (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Zeb Taia (Captain, Catalan Dragons)
Brad Takairangi (Gold Coast Titans)
Adam Tangata (Mounties Bundy)
Chris Taripo (Sydney Roosters)
Isaac John desperately wants his Cook Islands side to beat Wales at The Gnoll, Neath, on Sunday (2.00pm) so that they can take home with them a victory from Rugby League World Cup 2013.
The Islanders were beaten in a historic match at Bristol in the first round of group games, as the Memorial Stadium hosted its first-ever World Cup fixture and the USA recorded their maiden World Cup win.
They were then beaten by Tonga at Leigh Sports Village earlier in the week, as they agonisingly missed the opportunity to draw level in the match with ten minutes remaining thanks to an unforced error in the try-scoring zone, though Isaac feels that defeat in their last match was slightly unjust.
“I think from a crowd perspective it probably would have been a very entertaining game to watch,” said Isaac. “But at the end of the day we lost, I do not necessarily believe we deserved to lose but someone has to lose and tonight it was us.
“There were a lot of key moments that lost us the game. We failed to stop a few of their players, especially Konrad Hurrell which is maybe something that we could have prevented.
“Also a couple of their other tries where they got through us with individual brute force, instead of team play and if we had stopped those we would have given ourselves a better chance.”
The Cooks now have one more opportunity to claim their first win of RLWC2013, though John is more than weary of a dangerous Welsh side in a similar position to their own, and who will also have the advantage of a home crowd behind them.
“We desperately want to end the tournament on a high, we do not want to have to come here and walk away with three losses,” said John. “Hopefully we can end with a win, because we have a very close group of players and I think we have the ability to beat Wales and do our country proud.
“Tyson Frizell is the key to their game, we watched their first game at the Millennium Stadium and he was wreaking all kinds of havoc. We have seen a lot of him in the NRL back home, he is a great young player so we will try our best to nullify him.
“They have also got a couple of handy halves who are very creative, they kick well and not forgetting their full back who is a good player too. I think if we can stop them going forward then we stand a very good chance.”