Manning faces tough challenge

Normal, Sports

The National, Thursday 11th April, 2013


MONIER Pukpuks coach Allan Manning will have his chance to draw up his blueprint of the Oceania Cup team in the selection trial match in Port Moresby on Saturday.

The match will be played at Monier Rugby Park at 11am.

Capital Rugby Union (CRU) dominates the squad with players flying in this week from Buka, Lae, Rabaul, Madang, Brisbane and Cairns.  

The re-confirmation of Lae-based players are Butler Morris, Ryan Samba, Bobby Lumaris, Jackson Pato and Mike Miria. 

This trial will be to finalise the PNG development squad that will travel to the Gold Coast to attend an Australian Rugby Union (ARU) high performance unit camp from April 24 to May 4.

At the end of the camp, the development squad will play a one-off match against the ARU development team (U20s).

Wallaby coach Robbie Deans and forwards coach Cameron Blades are likely to be there as well.

This camp will help Manning set up the foundation of the Oceania Cup squad that will be announced when they return from Australia.

Over the next two days, the players will go through fitness, skills and game scenario training to identify players who are able to work the set-pieces.

“This needs a lot of cohesiveness, especially when we incorporate the game pattern … we want the players to be able to follow,” coach Manning said.

“So basically there are certain criteria we want players to fit into and that will obviously come down to height and weight as well if we are to be competitive.”

Manning said there were technical issues that needed to be addressed. 

“Obviously those players who fill the core skills of each position well are potential specialist prospects.”