Locals put on notice

Normal, Sports

The National,Wednesday 13th of February, 2013

THERE is no quick road to the Rugby League World Cup for local players, Adrian Lam says.
This is especially so when you consider the likes of James Segeyaro (Penrith), Neville Costigan (Newcastle Knights), David Mead (Gold Coast Titans), Joe Bond (Redcliffe/Brisbane Broncos), Reece Martin, Nini McDonald (Sydney Roosters), Tyson Martin (North Queensland Cowboys), Rod Griffin (Gold Coast), Menzie Yere (Sheffield Eagles UK), Jessie Joe Parker (Whitehaven UK), Paul Aiton (Wakefield UK) are gunning for a Kumul jumper to October’s World Cup.
These are the PNG international-based players that Lam has identified so far to be considered for a spot in the Kumuls team.
The Kumuls will be taking part in this year’s Rugby League World Cup to be jointly hosted by England, Wales, France and Ireland from Oct 26 to Nov 30. 

PNG has been pooled alongside reigning World Cup champions New Zealand, France and Samoa.
The match against NRL club South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday kick-started the PNG Rugby Football League’s (PNGRFL) campaign towards identifying potential players at home and abroad.
Lam yesterday confirmed via email that all players would be monitored to see how they were performing to be considered in the end of the year “PNG Origin” match between the Residents and overseas-based players.
Lam said all players had to prove themselves worthy of a Kumul jumper.
“I have given all players in the squad certain targets to reach before our next meet, which will give each and every one of them some direction.
“If they take short cuts in preparation from now on they will be left behind,” Lam said.
“Regardless of the final score I was happy with our overall performance. I thought we could have attacked a lot better but the focus over the past two weeks was to improve our defence.
 “We led at quarter-time 12-6, which was an amazing effort considering the amount of ball that the Rabbitohs had and the amount of defence we had to do.
“People must remember that all the PNG Residents team have not played a game or trained at all since our final match against Australia in September,” he said.
“The Rabbitohs have trained over the past four months everyday fulltime on their strength, fitness, defence, agility and all other areas where they dominated us.
“That’s why I feel we fell apart in the game in the final quarter where the Rabbitohs seemed to be fitter and stronger,” Lam said.
“I am happy with our efforts and think we have a lot of positives to take from the game and it is a reminder that we now need to concentrate on getting our PNG Kumuls World Cup squad ready and right in our lead-up.”
Lam stressed that training camps and more overseas games were needed to develop local players and that was something they would work hard on.
“The experience the players got travelling overseas is something which is priceless and we should learn a lot out of this and remember for when we travel next,” Lam said.
He confirmed that Mark Mexico (Brisbane Broncos), Dion Aiye,  (Newcastle Knights), Israel Eliab and Josiah Abavu (Newcastle Knights and Penrith), David Loko (Penrith), Esau Siune (Melbourne Storm) and Larsen Marabe (Penrith Panthers) had scouts showing interest.