Last shot at World Cup, lessons to be learned

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday November 8th, 2013

 Every man and his dog has had an opinion about the Kumuls at the World Cup.

As Papua New Guinea head into their “mission impossible” against the reigning world champions New Zealand, the emotions that the Kumuls results have engendered already shows that people are passionate about their team. 

The only problem is that many critics are placing the blame solely on the coach. 

Is this fair? The coach should accept some responsibility for the results good or bad, however there are more people involved in the oarganisation that should be willing to accept that maybe they erred.

The selectors should explain why they picked who they did and what style they were trying to promote.

It was clear that coach Adrian Lam was looking at players who could contribute for every second of every minte they were out on the field. 

He wanted a fit and mobile side but he sacrificed size and power in the forwards which ultimately had an effect on our overall plan.

You cannot compete on equal terms with the opposition if you are losing the forwad battle. 

Against Samoa this was none more so evident. 

Against New Zealand it will be even more pronounced.

What valuable lessons, if any, can the side and coach learn from of the World Cup?

Firstly, the obvious is to pick players in their accustomed positions; secondly the Kumuls must have a recognised goal kicker, the Kumuls could have been a penalty away from making their only their second quarter-final appearance; the the coach and selectors should not be picking players just because they play a well in a position. This was illustrated when the selectors came up with an unbalanced side with too many small men. The Kumuls already are small in size, they did not have to go and compound the situation further by picking halfbacks and hookers en masse.