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KUMUL legend Marcus Bai wants a better performance from Papua New Guinea in their second Four Nations match against New Zealand tomorrow.
In an interview with Radio East New Britain on Wednesday from his Gold Coast home, the former Melbourne Storm star questioned coach Stanley Gene’s tactics.
“I hope the Kumuls won’t dish out the same performance they had last week.
“Stanley (Gene) needs to concentrate on reviewing the video from the match and working on the basics,” he said.
Bai, who is the only locally produced PNG player to have won an NRL premiership (Melbourne Storm in 1999) as well as a British Super League title (Leeds Rhinos in 2004) sympathised with the players for their high error rate against the Kangaroos saying they could not be blamed entirely.
“You can’t blame the players for the dropped balls but what the coaching staff needs to do is get them to work on the basics like how to have a better grip on the ball.”
Bai said he was proud of the Kumuls performance particularly their defence which held out the Kangaroos for a 30-minute period in the match and was enthusiastic throughout.
The West New Briton, however, did express his disappointment that former coach Adrian Lam resigned prematurely.
He would have preferred Lam to continue his tenure for the sake of consistency and continuity in the kumuls. Meanwhile in Rotorua, Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney has opted to rest several key forwards ahead of their Nov 6 clash with Australia and has picked a pack with a harder edge.
Bullocking Penrith Panthers prop Sam KcKendry and Sydney Roosters firebrand Jared Warea-Hargreaves and teammate Frank Paul Nuuausala will be given game time while regular prop Greg Eastwood moves to the bench.
Warea-Hargreaves has admitted that the Kumuls abbrasive style could unsettle the Kiwis or worse sucker them into a tit-for-tat battle, but has promised to keep a lid on the aggression.
The one on one battle between Kumul centre Menzie Yere and Junior Sau is expected to be a highlight as both men were standout performers for the sides last week.
The New Zealanders have warned their opposition they expect to improve from the 24-10 victory over England and will relish the physicality of the contest in the North Island holidy town.
No word out of the Kumul came has been forthcoming on the make up of the team for tomorrow however it would be surprising if Gene does not make any changes.
The ecpected return of forward Paul Pora will lift the spirits while winger Richard Kambo can not be denied a shot against the Kiwis.
Penrith feeder club player James Nightingale has been included in the Kumuls team after backrower Sigfred Gande was forced to pull out of the Four Nations with a groin injury.
In the halves Jessie Joe Parker is a natural choice to  partner Dion Aiye who will be expected take a firmer grip on PNG’s offensive plays.
His kicking game will also be crucial while he must not let the added responsibility of marking up against one of the games super stars in Benji Marshall cloud his thinking.
  Gene by now has seen his side’s obvious weaknesses and must make the neccessary changes to shore up those areas.
Another frustrating one-sided loss is not an option especially as it may effect his PNG’s credibility on the international stage.
The possible Kumuls team: Ryan Tongia, Michael Mark, Menzie Yere, Larsen Marabe, Richard Kambo, Jessie Joe Parker, Dion Aiye, Rodney Pora, Benjamin John, Makali Aizue, Rod Griffin, James Nightingale, Paul Aiton and reserves Nixon Kolo, David Loko, Glen Nami, Charlie Wabo, George Moni and Elijah Riyong.