Fiji Bati first five-eight PNG is bracing for a strong performance from the Papua New Guinea Kumuls at the 2023 Pacific Bowl final on Sunday.
The young Bati stunned the crowd at Santos Stadium a week ago beating the home side 43-16 and the Dolphins star believes the Kumuls are feeling like an injured lion.
With the Pacific Cup final heading towards a sell-out, Donoghoe said the Bati were expecting the Kumuls to come out firing in front of their home crowd.
“PNG always come out with a lot of energy, build off their crowd and try to hurt some people,” he told NRL.com.
“We’ve got a lot of younger players but I think we were confident we’d be able to do well if we could sort out our combinations and get our structures right.”
“We know that the Kumuls are going to come to play, as they always do, but we are looking forward to the challenge and we’re just going to step up again.”
Donoghoe, who made an immediate impact for Fiji by scoring a brace last weekend, has his performance applauded by Bati assistant coach Matt Hartigan, who works for the Dolphins in recruitment and development.
Hartigan also revealed that upon joining the Dolphins, Donoghoe had made a good impression with his performance that shocked Coach Wayne Bennett.
“From the moment Wayne came in, he was looking for a Dolphins-style player and Kurt ticked all the boxes leading into Round One, and he subsequently picked up a debut because of how he trained and the trial form that he produced,” Hartigan explained.
“As soon as he came into this camp he has just bought into everything that it means to be a Fiji Bati player and he showed that last weekend with the way he played.”
“When he plays direct and he gets the ball in his hands, he’s got the creativity to make the guys around him look good and I think you saw a real shift last weekend around playing a genuine Fijian style.”
“This is the first time most of the guys have met, let alone played with each other, but they’ve now been together for two weeks and really excited about this weekend’s game.”
The final between Fiji Bati and the PNG Kumuls will kick off at 5pm at Santos Stadium in Port Moresby.
Fiji Bati: Jahream Bula, Maika Sivo, Jason Qareqare, Waqa Blake, Mikaele Ravalwa, Kurt Donoghoe, Brandon Wakeham, Tui Kamikamica (C), Pemnioni Tagituimua, King Vuniyayawa, Apisalome Saukuru, Taane Milne, Caleb Navale.
Reserves: Kitione Kautoga, Gordon Whippy, Watisoni Waqanisaravi, Pio Seci, Jason Qereqere, Noah Nailagoliva, Sirilo Lovokuro.