The side, which made it through to the World Cup without breaking a sweat after the other Pacific teams pulled out of the qualifiers, faces a tough battle against the defending champions in the match which will kick off at 7pm (CI time).
The Cook Islands Moana led by skipper Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, are keeping their cards close to their chests ahead of their second World Cup appearance after making their debut in 2005.
Cook Islands Rugby League president Charles Carlson said they were pleased with the preparation in the short time that they had. He said it was always a challenge assembling a squad with players from New Zealand, Australia and the Cook Islands.
Carlson said the side is keeping a low key profile heading into the tournament and hoping to spring some surprises against the giants in the preliminary rounds of the tournament.
“Everyone is talking about the Australia versus New Zealand with very little mention of the Cook Islands.
“Sometimes it is good thing to fly under the radar, as they say, and hit them when least expected.” Carlson said the team had to do their own promo using social media which had attracted over 100,000 views.
He said the players have also put together an action song which attracted 60,000 views.
“They learnt the national anthem and the Lord's Prayer in Cook Islands Maori as part of their devotions,” Carlson said.
“The girls were stunning in their formal wear at the formal opening yesterday (Monday, CI time) so they just have to perform on the field to show they are not just pretty faces.”
In an interview this week Skipper Ngata-Aerengamate said teams should not take their looks for granted as they were as vicious as they were good-looking on the field.
Cook Islands will take on New Zealand in the second match this Saturday before playing England on Tuesday next week.
Cook Islands Moana – 1. Toka Natua – Tokoroa, New Zealand, 2. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate – Counties-Manukau, New Zealand, 3. Te Amohaere Ngata- Aerengamate – Counties-Manukau, New Zealand, 4. Crystal Tamarua – Auckland, New Zealand, 5. Danielle Apaiana – Auckland, New Zealand, 6. Stephanie Wilson – Sydney, Australia, 7. Eliza Wilson– Auckland, New Zealand, 8. Josina Singapu – Gold Coast, Australia, 9. Karol Tanevesi– Sydney, Australia, 10. Samaria Taia– Sydney, Australia, 11. Natalee Tagavaitau– Auckland, New Zealand, 12. Kaylen Ikitule– Auckland, New Zealand, 13. Kiana Takairangi– Sydney, Australia, 14. Chantelle Inangaro Schofield – Cook Islands, 15. Beniamina Koiatu – Auckland, New Zealand, 16. Inangaro Maraeara – Sydney, Australia, 17. Manea Poa-Maoate – Wellington, New Zealand, 18. Lydia Turua-Quedley – Melbourne, Australia, 19. Ruahei Demant – Auckland, New Zealand, 20. Cecelia Strickland – Perth, Australia, 21. Urshla Kere – Brisbane, Australia, 22. Kiritapu Demant – Auckland, New Zealand, 23. Katelyn Arona – Christchurch, New Zealand