The National, Thursday October 17th, 2013
THE Kumuls are not complicating their preparations for the Rugby League World Cup.
Every answer, every comment and every goal has three things in common: belief, talent and preparation.
These are the factors Kumuls coach Adrian Lam and PNG Rugby League coaching director Mal Meninga are counting on to embolden the side to play out of their skins to make an impact at the 2013 World Cup.
Speaking to the Hull Daily Mail yesterday Meninga repeated sentiments he and Lam shared on their departure from Port Moresbyhas
Meninga also called for the city of Hull to support his adopted nation during the upcoming World Cup.
And he has promised to reward the fans with an exciting brand of rugby league as the Kumuls look to take the competition by storm.
Getting Meninga involved as part of Lam’s backroom staff is a masterstroke, which it is hoped could give them the edge over France and Samoa in their first two Pool B matches, before facing defending champions New Zealand.
Meninga knows his inexperienced side need all the support they can get and he’s hoping Hull can make the PNG team as comfortable in the city as they did back in 1995.
“Papua New Guinea stayed in Hull for that World Cup and they had a fantastic time,” Meninga told the Mail.
“Adrian Lam played back then and told me stories of their stay here.
“There is a really good vibe for us in the city. We want the Hull fans to be our home crowd.
“I think the French are staying in Hull too, but we want the locals to support us – and we will provide them with some exciting rugby to watch on the pitch.”
Meninga, who has coached Queensland in the State of Origin, is excited about the potential in the squad he and Lam have at their disposal.
Led by skipper and new Hull KR signing Neville Costigan, Meninga knows they could be the surprise package of the World Cup.
“This is a talented bunch of players, they just don’t know how talented they are just yet,” Meninga said.
“And I don’t know how to rate this squad but we have dreams and ambitions.
“This is a five-year plan and this is the best preparation any PNG side has had for a World Cup.
“They have had success in previous tournaments and hopefully we can repeat that.
“We’re excited because we’re underdogs and it’s a fair challenge for us.
“We want to be in the quarter-finals as every team would love to and whatever happens from there, happens.
“We can surprise teams because we have enough talent in our squad to challenge in the quarter-finals and maybe the semi-finals.
“Belief is the key for us and we need to make sure we don’t get overawed by playing against the big teams.
“We need to play to our strengths and worry more about ourselves and not the opposition.” – Hull Daily Mail