By KEITH PUARIA
FORMER Pukpuk and current Port Moresby Wanderers club coach Frank Makanuey earlier in the week threw the challenge to the Port Moresby Rugby Football Union (POMRFU), and mother body Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) to look seriously at lifting the standard of the competition after witnessing a distinct drop in quality two weeks into the season.
Makanuey said rugby union in Port Moresby had deteriorated to a state where several clubs were struggling to produce competitive performances.
“The defensive area of the game, the quality of teams, knowledge of the principles of the game and the capacity of clubs is virtually non-existent and the level of rugby played by these clubs is of very poor quality,” he said.
“Huge score and forfeits only highlight two symptoms, and they are the lack of good coaches with good rugby knowledge and skill, and the lack of good sports and club administrators on the local front,” the former Pukpuk tight-head said.
“From this competition, the players are selected to represent their region at Super 5s, and ironically the majority of Port Moresby-based players are eventually selected to represent PNG.
“That’s only two steps away from international matches, and it’s the management at this domestic stage that needs to get their act in order right now,” he stressed.
Makanuey called on the POMRFU and PNGRFU to work effectively together in the areas of developing coaches and arming them with the skills that would eventually flow on through the clubs and lift the standard of the game.
On the notion that the competition had weakened due to expansion, the former Port Moresby Barbarians and Defence club prop, said the increase in team numbers for premier grade should not be blamed.
“The increased number of teams in competition shows the huge volume of players wanting to play, while reducing teams will be like saying ‘no’ and shutting the door on them.”
Makanuey also suggested that POMRFU and PNGRFU, while acquiring sponsorship for the “big events” needed to focus some of that funding on the domestic competition, especially in Port Moresby.