Hello to all our rugby league families and friends in Papua New Guinea and overseas. Welcome to the 29th edition of Coach’s Corner in your favourite rugby league newspaper — The National.
Last Sunday’s NRL grand final between Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders saw some rules tested. There were errors made by both teams which we expect in any sport. And the referees in our eyes may or may not have made errors when the ball hit the Roosters trainer and the six- tackle call changed to last tackle on the run.
And the decisions they made were correct, according to the rule book.
What many of us should learn from this is that the Roosters made every opportunities of these errors, including that by the referee (if that is the way you saw it), and scored the winner.
Always remember that the game stops when the referee blows his whistle.
New South Wales retained their title when the Newtown Jets scored right on fulltime to beat ‘White Kumul’ Luke Page’s Burleigh Bears. The bounce of the ball didn’t go the Queensland Intrust Super Cup premiers way at that moment. That was cruel and heartbreaking for the Bears. Luke, take a break and we’ll catch up in a couple of weeks.
The World Cup Nines teams — PNG LNG Kumuls and Oil Search PNG Orchids — are in camp. All except Orchid Lekiellia Brown and Kumuls pair Justin Olam and Bernard Lewis, are in Port Moresby.
The three players will join the teams in Sydney on Monday.
PNG Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) chairman Sandis Tsaka spoke to both teams on Tuesday. He stressed and reminded us all of the importance of our national duties and the privilege and pride in wearing the red, black and gold jersey.
He urged the players to uphold team etiquettes, discipline, values and respect each other at all times.
The teams are preparing and adapting as per the rules of the shorter version. It’s faster and points have to be scored in nine minutes per half.
We are in Pool A with hosts Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
The event will be held in Sydney from Oct 18-19. I will give you the draws next week.
After the tournament is the second leg of the Oceania Cup Pacific Test against Fiji in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Nov 9. On Nov 16, the Kumuls play the British Lions in Port Moresby.
The Kumuls side for the two Tests will be announced after the World Cup Nines.
The national club championships, which were dormant for about two decades, have been re-introduced this year by PNGRFL. This will show good administration, management, staff and player commitment and dedication to be the champion club in the country.
More details will be published through the media.
I have said this before that many leagues are holding their finals series and tensions will be high. The players and match officials give their best on the field. There’s only one winner. What happens on the field stays on the field.
Whatever the result, please accept. Go back and review and improve next year.
Until next week, play hard, play safe and play by the rules in whatever sport you are competing in. And remember, there is no room for violence in any game.