Papua New Guinea half-back Lachlan Lam has backed up statements from his team-mates that the Kumuls are becoming a force on the international scene.
The Kumuls fell short to a 24-18 defeat to Tonga, who are the number one ranked nation in the world, in their first game of the World Cup on Tuesday.
Speaking after the game, PNG stars Alex Johnston and Edwin Ipape insisted the Kumuls were on the rise despite a late defeat to Tonga.
“It was a sad loss but I thought we left at least 20 points out there,” Lam told Love Rugby League. “There was a lot to like but it’s also very bitter to lose like that.
“There was 20 points left out there and we scored 20 points, so there was 40 points there up for grabs against the top ranked team in the world.
“I think PNG as a nation are getting better game by game. I think the public can see that now and I can’t wait for the next few days.
“We’ve got a good group of boys here from PNG and long distance relatives. Everyone is connected to the country in all different ways.
“I think the way we’ve bonded and got together, we were all laughing and joking. But as soon as we start training we hit the ground running; and our mentality switches to getting our work done.”
Lachlan Lam enjoying his time in England
The 24-year-old linked up with his dad Adrian at Leigh earlier this season, having arrived from Sydney Roosters.
The Lam’s helped Leigh gain promotion to Super League for 2023. Lachlan Lam says he is enjoying his time in England so far.
“It was a little bit sentimental,” he added. “My old man (Adrian) and Derek (Beaumont) picked me up for the airport. When we got back to my dad’s place we drove around the area, looked at my old school and our old house. It was really good to get back there and have a look, it was pretty surreal really.
“He’s reached out a couple of times and he follows me journey closely now, especially because I’m in his team. He’s always reaching out and giving his pointers and what he thinks.”