By TRAVERTZ MABONE
THE PNG Rugby Football League is set to announce a 30-man Kumuls squad today and will head back into training this week with members of the Prime Minister’s XIII taking a break from the weekend’s efforts.
The squad will be further trimmed before flying to Cairns, Australia, next month (Oct 11) for six days where they will continue training for the Four Nations tournament.
Coach Stanley Gene said this would be an opportunity for the players to train in quality facilities and also spend some time bonding.
The Kumuls will be under the guidance of professional British Super League trainer Billy Marlinson who flew in from England at the weekend.
“We have to change the underdog tag that we have been carrying and to make the boys believe in themselves that they can beat the giants,” Gene said.
From Sunday’s game, Gene pinpointed several areas to work on mentioning defence around the rucks and putting pressure on the opposition after a good set (fifth tackle options).
Captain Paul Aiton was happy with patches of the game, admitting they did let themselves down in some instances but it was nothing they could not improve on.
“This was the first time that a lot more home grown players entered the team. We had a good balance of guys with the new guys coming in and picking up well,” Aiton said.
“We have to believe in our boys and with Stanley as a former player and friend, he fits in well as a coach.”
“We lost but won in many areas in the weekend’s match and even though the Four Nations is going to be a daunting task, everyday is a challenge and we are not just going to do well, we are going to compete,” Aiton said.
“Our performance during the game showed the world that we have got a bit of depth and that the bemobile Cup is actually a quality competition.”