Hello to all our rugby league families throughout PNG and overseas.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Coach’s Corner in your favourite rugby league newspaper — The National.
Last week, I discussed the transition and succession plan we have in place until the Rugby League World Cup from Oct 23 to Nov 27, 2021, in England. That’s 26 months away.
For the Kumuls, we have at least five Tests to play between now and then.
On Nov 9, we play Fiji in the second leg of the Oceania Cup Pacific Test in New Zealand.
A week later (Nov 16), the Kumuls take on Great Britain Lions in Port Moresby.
Next year, the Kumuls play two Tests in the Oceania Cup with our opponents to be determined after November.
Then in 2021, as far I know, will be the mid-year Pacific Test in Sydney.
The PNG Orchids are in the same situation but with less international games.
Our SP Hunters season in 2019 is coming to an end with seven more games to go in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup.
It has been a difficult year with many lessons learnt and positives gained.
Assistant coaches Glen Nami and Roderick Puname have done extremely well since joining the camp after the season started.
I am pleased with the remaining players who are going through these challenges despite the many negatives and criticisms we face.
We are all in this together and will be better next season.
The team travel to Brisbane on Friday and some of the players will be at Suncorp Stadium to watch the Brisbane Broncos play the New Zealand Warriors.
Fellow Papua New Guineans Xavier Coates, who had an outstanding debut for the Broncos against the Cronulla Sharks on Sunday, and James Segeyaro will be playing in this game.
An appeal to help raise funds for injured Kumul Kurt Baptiste is still on.
Kurt suffered the season-ending injuring while playing in the Pacific Test against Samoa at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia, on June 22.
Please donate generously to help him on the road to recovery.
The account details are: Name: PNGRFL Inc. Trust Account for Kurt Baptiste, Bank South Pacific Account No: 7017301099, Branch: Port Moresby, BSB No. 088 294, Swift Code: BOSPPGPM and closes on July 31.
I was in Wabag to inspect the field for the Country week round next weekend and am very impressed with the amount of work Governor Sir Peter Ipatas and his staff have done to bring the game there.
I have put my recommendations in and are awaiting final approval from the Queensland Rugby League.
The Coca–Cola National Schools Rugby League Championships kicks off in 10 days in Port Moresby.
Teams in the four divisions representing the four confederates have been named.
Congratulations to you all on your selection.
You are the best from your respective confederates. There will be plenty of eyes on you all.
You will be representing your families, schools and communities so display good sportsmanship both on and off the field at the championships.
I urge you all to prepare well before travelling to Port Moresby.
I look forward to seeing you all in the nation’s capital.
On another note, well done to the men’s and in particular the women’s nines teams for winning silver medals at the Pacific Games in Apia,Samoa.
Also congratulations to Dika Toua and her sister Konio for winning weightlifting gold and silver medals. All the best to those who are competing.
Until next week, play fair, play hard and play by the rules in whatever sport you are taking part.
And if you are a supporter and spectator, cheer your team on but please don’t cause any trouble.