Mald: Rugby league needs revamp

Normal, Sports

MORESBY Northeast MP Andrew Mald has called for a complete revamp of rugby league if it is to be called Papua New Guinea’s national sport.
The MP made the called after the PNG Kumuls were thrashed 42-0 by the Australian Kangaroos and the New Zealand Kiwis 76-12 in a mistake-ridden Four Nations tournament.
Mald said for PNG to boast that rugby league was a national sport and to be thrashed in the international arena was an embarrassment.
He said the zero scoreline (42-0) and another hefty score 76-12 were also embarrassing after the Kumuls failed to score a try against the Kangaroos.
Mald was also critical of the short time frame, three weeks to assemble and train the Kumuls for such international tournaments that was televised around the world.
He said the national government should come up with long term strategy in sustaining rugby league and retaining star players.
“The players selected must be recruited into government departments or private companies and should maintain a very strict training schedule over a period of two to three years,” he said.
“We cannot afford to have players who are selected for three weeks training to be thrown against some of the highly paid professional players of Australia, New Zealand and England.”
Mald was also critical of some players’ attitudes who decided to get drunk and celebrate being a Kumul even before taking the field in Sydney.
“We must maintain strict discipline and a training regime for all our top players over a period of time for them to be fit and in good shape to take on any world class teams to perform better.”
He said the PNG Rugby Football League should also review its selection process and change some of the selectors who had been there for the last 10 or 20 years.
“There is something wrong with the selectors if we continue to be thrashed by world class teams over a number of years, which clearly shows that something is not right in our selection of players in representing the country.”