Centres doing their job, Marum says


KUMULS coach Michael Marum says centres Nene Macdonald and Kato Ottio have been kept in the three-quarters primarily because of their defensive capabilities.
Marum was responding to criticism levelled at the duo for not being better distributors with the ball.
“Kato (Ottio) and Nene (Macdonald) are there in the centres mainly for their defence,” Marum said from Melbourne yesterday.
“They’re big bodies that can shut down opposition backs and they do it well. We need that kind of defence in big games where the other side have big players who are a handful for our defence.”
The 44-year-old said he understood that the pair were not known as passers of the ball but he had no problems with their style of play.
“I know we have some really good wingers and they go out looking for the ball every now and then but our centres are doing their job.
You don’t have to pass the ball everytime you get it as a centre.
“Some times you have to hold the ball.”
Marum said he appreciated that his backs also went out looking for the ball to help out the forwards as well as popping up on attack and in support but his players were following his game plan and he had no qualms.
“Our centres have done a really good job on defence so far. We’ve won all our pool games and only had two tries scored against us. That’s a good record. It means everyone is doing their jobs and helping eachother out.”
Both Ottio and Macdonald are used predominantly as wingers for their clubs but step up to international level in the centres which is a challenge for any player adjusting their style of play to a position that requires them to be aware of teammates on the outside and inside channels.
Marum said at this point in the tournament he was not going to make any drastic changes to the way the team was playing and trusted his players to make the neccessary adjustments.