The National, Wednesday November 6th, 2013
HELA Wigmen franchise chairman Andy Hetra (pictured) has fired a broadside at the Papua New Guinea Kumul management for playing players out of position at the World Cup.
This follows their 38-4 loss to Samoa, the Kumuls’ second loss after going down to France 9-8 in the first Pool B match.
The loss has brought varying views from a cross-section of the public.
The view by Hetra is a glaring issue that he believes has “come home to roost” on the national selectors.
The Wigmen Digicel Cup team are a new franchise that is heavily involved in developing local leagues in the Southern and Hela provinces.
“I question the tactics used by the Kumuls,” Hetra said.
He said the coaching staff had to be held responsible and described the line-up as a selection blunder by coach Adrian Lam.
A disappointed Hetra said he feared that the Kumuls would struggle after the side named had only two specialist props.
“Enoch Maki is not an 80 minutes player, Jason Chan and Neville Costigan are not prop material but are backrowers. Only Mark Mexico was close to the caliber of a specialist prop,” Hetra said.
“Previously we had strong go forward created by men like Rodney Pora and Makali Aizuwe,” he said.
“From our Digicel Cup Nixon Kolo (Gulf Isapea) and Esau Siune (Enga Mioks) fit the bill and would have stepped up if they were given the opportunity,” he added.
“There is no hard and fast rule about the role of props…their job is to win the advantage line by going forward, a very important aspect that is not pictured especially on the bench to have an impact on the game,” he said.
“I feel for Jesse Joe Nandye, Jason Tali and Richard Kambo, who were given the task to playing second-row on the big stage without any experience whatsoever in playing that role at club level or at Digicel Cup level.”
“David Loko and Larsen Marape should have been on that rotational role with Sebastian Pandia and Jason Chan who are workaholics and they can do their job well. Instead Larsen was pushed out of his comfort into the front row,” Hetra said.
“Since when was Marape a front rower?
“Israel Eliab is not a center and it was evident that he was really exposed on the right side in defence.
“Jason Tali or Francis Paniu would have easily done that job,” he added.
“It was evident that our players were pressured into playing out of position and it took a huge toll on their ability to compete.”
In regards to their last pool match against the New Zealand Kiwis this Saturday, Hetra urged Lam not to play the players out of their comfort zone and let them play their natural game in the positions they are used to playing.