The National, Friday November 1st, 2013
KUMULS coaching director Mal Meninga says Papua New Guinea is building to a better performance at the next World Cup.
Meninga in an open letter to the fans yesterday echoed the sentiments of head coach Adrian Lam and the staff saying everyone connected with the side were “hurting”.
“We’re hurting. The game on Sunday was heart-wrenching, heart-breaking but chock full of heart. The dressing room afterwards was so downhearted; it was so hard to come with the right words to soften the pain of a narrow loss,” the release quoted as Meninga saying.
“Those of us involved here in England were full of praise of the team’s effort as you all should be back home.
“The best defensive effort by a PNG national side, no line breaks against us, very good control of the ball with a 74% completion rate. In my experience these statistics usually adds up to a victory but the French performance was just as respectable.
“I agree with commentary that we can play better with the ball. Make smarter decisions in attack. Take opportunities when they arise. That’s what the very best teams do.
“But can we blame it on one goal kick…No! Great rugby league teams win games through strong organised defence and clever attacking options. Working hard for each other with commitment, attitude and passion.
“France has been playing in the English Super League since 2000. Playing in a quality competition week in and week out you learn how to hang on. You know what it takes to win.
“We will improve and I can promise by the time the next world cup is upon us Team Kumul will be winning these close games.
“This experience in this World Cup of Rugby League is providing the building blocks for many years to come.
“Hard Lessons I know but we move forward. Dust ourselves off and stay positive and believe in what we are doing. We can’t question the Team’s character to do well. Our goal next game against Samoa is the same as France.
“We want the same attitude to defense, a desire to execute better in attack and lay everything on the line…Kumul style!
“Remember this please, this side is the youngest side in the competition, the least experienced, the least representation from NRL or English Super League. Your national team is competitive now”.