Hello there all rugby league fans and supporters. Welcome to this first edition of the ‘Coaches Corner’ in the official PNGRFL newspaper – The National.
In this newspaper, you will find anything and everything you want to read and know about rugby league from the Schools Rugby League up to the Kumuls and Orchids. And not only will you find these stories in the Sports pages, there will competitions and stories for children in the ‘LikLik National’ section of the newspaper.
Through this column, I will be sharing my views and thoughts on any issues but for now and over the next few weeks, will talk about the SP PNG Hunters.
I know and feel for everybody that losing games is not good. But we must accept the fact that in any sport, there is one winner and one loser. We have lost the first two games of the 2019 Intrust Super Cup season and have not scored a point.
Over the past 14 weeks, the boys have trained really hard and gelled together as a team. My coaching staff and I selected the best 31 players based on their attitudes, fitness both medically and physically as well as their dedication and commitment to the team. Those players that were released were told of the reasons and will work hard to come back. That is the first step. Then there are the basic skills like a simple catch and pass to work on. It takes thousands of hours to perfect this. Once the basics are perfected, we train together as a team in positions. Combinations and everything you can ask for are done to perfection at training.
When the Broncos new coach Anthony Seibold reversed Wayne Bennett’s commitment for a pre- season trial in February that put us back a few steps. Not only were we to try out new combinations and all, the mental and physical preparation of playing against a top side and in front of a big crowd would have been an experience for the team.
We are rebuilding the team. And all I ask for is some patience as we go through this process. The boys will come good. I have faith in them and I also ask for the same from everyone. Don’t be negative. Most of them are young guys and I we will nurture them and look after them. They are and will become better rugby league players and great men in the future.
Look out for young Justin Yoka, who will be making his debut as Hunter No. 73 in the No.6 jersey on Sunday. He is a talent straight from the local Pangia rugby league association in the Southern Highlands province and looks an exciting prospect for the future. I have invited long-time Pangia league president Jim Waki to Port Moresby to watch his local product play his first game for the Hunters. I know Justin will not let him, the supporters and teammates down and will give it his best shot against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.
The Hunters have met the Falcons on 11 occasions since 2014 with six wins (four at home and two away including the 2017 grand final at Suncorp Stadium) and five losses ( four away and one at home).
Finally, on behalf of the SP Hunters and PNG Kumuls players and officials around the globe, I express our deepest and sincere condolences to the families and relatives of two outstanding men in the greatest game of all – Late Timothy Lepa and Late Russ Kaupa – for your contributions and support to me personally and everyone involved. May they both Rest In Eternal Peace.
The PNGRFL is organising a Memorial Service at 11am tomorrow at NFS in Port Moresby for these two great men and those who wish to attend are most welcome to do so.
Until next week, play hard and play safe in whatever sport you are taking part or just watching this weekend, but please remember, there is only one winner and one loser in any game.
Readers can respond and share thoughts on Hunters and rugby league by sending to email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Responses must include full name and Location with pen name to be used on request.