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Cook Islands skipper Alex Glenn has played in some big matches over the years, but none compare to the cultural significance of Saturday night's Pacific Test against Papua New Guinea.  

His side might have fallen 32-22 to the Kumuls, but the Test – and the week in general – will long live in the memory bank of the former Kiwis international. 

"It's hard to top grand finals because that's the big stage that you work towards, but this is definitely a highlight that I'll never forget. This is more emotional and personal than some of those other big games," Glenn told 

"Looking into the future, hopefully there are some more opportunities on the horizon for me to put on this jersey and do my family proud."

The week itself was an eye-opener for the 28-year-old who relished the opportunity to immerse himself in Cook Islands culture. 

"I learnt how to play the Cook Islands drums – that's something that I've always wanted to do," he said. 

"Just seeing the support here in Sydney was an eye-opening experience. We did a Cook Islands event earlier in the week and it was great to see the community get behind us and support the team. It took me back to my roots and made me miss my family back in New Zealand and in the Cooks."

While he was born in Auckland, the Cook Islands hold a special place in Glenn's heart, with the Broncos edge forward keen to spend a lot more time there in the coming years. 

"My mum is from Rarotonga and my grandparents still live there," he said.  

"We've got some land over there that our family wants to build on, so my brother, sister and I have a house to go back to and holiday whenever we want. It's a beautiful place in the world and we don't get to go back as much we'd like to. 

"The last time I went back was two years ago. My fiancée gave birth to our first son so we thought we'd do a relaxing holiday and that's where I proposed to her too. 

"It was unreal. It's postcard material with its beautiful beaches and relaxing vibe."

Saturday's match was anything but relaxing with Glenn sporting a post-game ice pack on his thigh after suffering a painful cork in the shadows of half-time. 

The Cook Islands fought bravely until the very end but it was the combinations honed by the PNG Hunters in the Intrust Super Cup that proved the difference.  

"We were in it to the end but we didn't start the second half the way we should have. Our first three sets, we gave easy possession away and it allowed them to get some good ball on our line," he conceded. 

"There were some errors that we can fix up, but looking at the future, our boys are so young and there's a positive force coming through us that this is the start of something good. 

"They can play with their shape from the Hunters, but in saying that, we had a great week. There were a lot of new faces that I got to meet and play some football with. 

"This was more of a personal feeling this time because my family are strong Cook Islanders so it was great to be around this culture and learn more about my family's culture."


Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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