The National, Tuesday 12th February, 2013
RESIDENTS Coach Adrian Lam is satisfied after Saturday’s 38-12 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Lam said after the match that even though the preparation period difference had not done his side any favours, the match was exactly what the Kumuls World Cup campaign needed.
“You gotta understand, these boys, like the rest of the NRL, started training four months ago and it was the difference today,” he said.
“We did not particularly do what we would have liked to do in attack but I thought our defence was outstanding.
“You look at that first 20 minutes, we held them to 12 all and played some pretty good football.”
Souths scored a converted try first after an equal contest, and when Israel Eliab replied, pouncing on a cross kick from Dion Aiye and converting, the Residents XIII looked the goods for a strong match.
Eliab then plucked an intercept on the quarter time hooter to equalise again and bring the sea of red Residents supporters to their feet.
Souths then stepped it up a notch with their heavier weight advantage and the packed Redfern behind them to continuously deny Lam’s side any grand opportunities.
Fitness eventually showed on the scoreboard.
“We are still crawling, we are starting from scratch and we will get better,” Lam said.
“This match and what we learnt from today will go a very long way as we get our team ready for the World Cup,” Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko said after the match.
Tkatchenko led PNG’s delegation to the match and promised positive changes in the next couple of days.
The Redfern event drew as much PNG support to the match against the home crowd.
Significantly, in the crowd were club owners, movie star Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes-a-Court.