PNG have had the benefit of playing in the Intrust Super Cup for a number of years and now big-name NRL players are pledging their support back to Samoa.
It makes for an interesting match-up in the 2019 Ox & Palm Pacific Test Invitational between two nations with not a lot of playing history against each other.
Different styles and different strengths mean on-paper analysis leads to a few possibilities in the outcome.
Will Samoa, boosted by the return of Martin Taupau, power straight through the middle? Or can the more nimble PNG playmakers use speed and skill to stand-up the Samoans?
Samoa are loaded with NRL players compared to just a handful for the Kumuls. That puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of PNG's Lachlan Lam, James Segeyaro and Kurt Baptiste to get the better of rival playmakers Anthony Milford, Chanel Harris-Tevita and Mason Lino. Segeyaro hasn't tasted much first grade in the last couple of years and will be relishing the chance to play a crucial role for his country.
Fullback for Samoa is number 1 Jamayne IsaakoFullback for Papua New Guinea is number 1 Edene Gebbie
Winger for Samoa is number 2 Jorge TaufuaWinger for Papua New Guinea is number 2 Junior Rau
Centre for Samoa is number 3 Hymel HuntCentre for Papua New Guinea is number 3 Brandon Nima
Centre for Samoa is number 4 Marion SeveCentre for Papua New Guinea is number 4 Xavier Coates
Winger for Samoa is number 5 David NofoalumaWinger for Papua New Guinea is number 5 Terry Wapi
Five-Eighth for Samoa is number 6 Chanel Harris-TavitaFive-Eighth for Papua New Guinea is number 6 Edwin Ipape
Halfback for Samoa is number 7 Anthony MilfordHalfback for Papua New Guinea is number 7 Kyle Laybutt
Prop for Samoa is number 8 Junior PauloProp for Papua New Guinea is number 8 Enock Maki
Hooker for Samoa is number 9 Jarome LuaiHooker for Papua New Guinea is number 9 James Segeyaro
Prop for Samoa is number 17 Josh AloiaiProp for Papua New Guinea is number 10 Luke Page
2nd Row for Samoa is number 11 Raymond Faitala-Mariner2nd Row for Papua New Guinea is number 11 Rhyse Martin
2nd Row for Samoa is number 12 Jaydn Su'A2nd Row for Papua New Guinea is number 12 Nixon Putt
Lock for Samoa is number 13 Martin TaupauLock for Papua New Guinea is number 13 Moses Meninga
Interchange for Samoa is number 14 Mason LinoInterchange for Papua New Guinea is number 14 Kurt Baptiste
Interchange for Samoa is number 15 Michael Chee-KamInterchange for Papua New Guinea is number 15 Zev John
Interchange for Samoa is number 16 Herman Ese'eseInterchange for Papua New Guinea is number 16 Radley Brawa
Interchange for Samoa is number 10 James GavetInterchange for Papua New Guinea is number 17 Stanton Albert
- Referee: Adam Gee
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Touch Judge: Nick Morel
- Video Referee: Bryan Norrie
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
For the Kumuls to win
Ball movement. PNG can pull off amazing plays if they keep the ball alive and the defence on the move and that will go a long way to claiming victory for them over Samoa. They must shift the ball around to create gaps and be ready to burst forward when they appear.
For Samoa to win
It's in a power game. Samoa must use Taupau's big running to go straight and hard at the PNG line. Tire them out through defence, bust the line and look for the offload as defenders are drawn in.
This is a big test for PNG, who have faced Fiji in three of their past four clashes, the other opponent being Cook Islands. They are on a three-match winning streak, the last win against Fiji during last year's rep weekend. Samoa are on a three-match losing streak (to Tonga, England and Fiji) and will be desperate for that to end this weekend.
And another thing ...
A tough ask for the Kumuls against a side in which every player has NRL experience. Toa Samoa has a good balance of power and speed, with serious size and strength in the pack complemented by some very capable playmakers. But no team in rugby league tackles harder than the Kumuls and they'll be looking forward to the challenge of cutting their more fancied opponents down to size with some typically ferocious defence.