The National, Wednesday November 6th, 2013
FOR the amount of money and effort expanded on the Team Kumuls this year, exiting the World Cup in the pool stages is an unacceptable way to go.
If losing to the French by a solitary point (9-8) was not frustrating enough, then getting undressed 38-4 by Samoa yesterday morning was surely the death blow to Adrian Lam’s hopes of cracking a spot in the final eight of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
The side now awaits the inevitable coup de grace at the hands of New Zealand on Saturday morning.
Although we would like to think that the Kumuls have been striving to improve since the last World Cup in 2008, it is clear that this side is not as good as that one.
Granted there are eight surviving members this side has shown itself in the games played to be simply not up to standard.
The concern here is that large sums, described by the foreign media as “bucket loads”, of public money have already been sunk into developing and preparing the squad not to mention the operational expenses for this tournament.
The cost of preparing and sending the Kumuls to the tournament will easily exceed a K1 million and that is a conservative estimate.
At the end of the day any publicly-funded endeavour must be held accountable to the people and going by the general reaction from Kumuls fans changes have to be made both to the playing personnel and the coaching staff.
Adrian Lam has been at the helm of the Kumuls for too long to now say that they are aiming to do better at the next World Cup.
This is the second World Cup inwhich he has coach the team without a single victory.
Enough is enough. The excuses are starting to sound like a broken record.
The people are tired of hearing about ‘brave efforts”, they want wins, they want success.
One would think that after the input from Lam and Mal Meninga we would see a marked improvement in performances.
The Kumuls track record under Lam and Meninga is 1-3.
The win was a 38-20 warm-up victory over Scotland last month, who have since gone on to beat Tonga and draw with Italy.
The Kumuls lost 52-0 to the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII before heading to the United Kingdom.
The continued poor results on the international stage cannot carry on.
If we have so much raw talent in the country why are not players sent down to play in clubs ovrerseas.
What is stopping the national government and their Australian counterparts from having this arrangement?
Cricket and AFL are making a mockery of rugby league by having player development programmes up and running.
They have arrangements with clubs in Australia to have talented plays experience club cricket and AFL.
These two codes have been doing this for several years now.
Why cannot rugby league, the most popular sport in the country, follow suit?
Papua New Guinea’s push to have a side compete in the Queensland Cup will go a long way to improving the standard of the Kumuls but does that mean we keep Lam and his crew for the indefinite future?
Does the public continue to spend money on a coach who has not brought in the results?
Any coach in any sport would have resigned after continuously falling short of even the lowest goal.
Some would say that is the honourable thing to do.
If you are not up to the job then you step aside and let some else do it.
If a coach’s record was anything like the one Lam has so far with the Kumuls then his days would be numbered.
If Meninga lost a couple of Origin series would he still be a lock to retain his job?
The team management and the PNGRFL have some serious soul searching to do.
If it means cleaning house they should all step aside.
The call has already been made about getting the right people for the job not just in the coach’s box but on the field.
It is time the PNG Rugby Football League and the government think of hiring a coach who has actually proved himself.
Right now PNG does not have that and it is showing.