Self-belief is key, says former Kumuls manager

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday November 8th, 2013


A FORMER Kumuls team manager has urged the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) to return to basics in terms of preparation before international tournament such as the 2013 World Cup Rugby League in England.

Andrew Terry, a manager under former Kumuls coach John Wagambie said the team needed to return to basics.

“There’s a lot of money involved in the current team but there is little to show. Papua New Guineans are passionate about the game. 

“We need to harness the interest of the young people who want to play the game,” the former Mt Hagen Rugby League president said.

Terry from Western Highlands, managed the Kumuls team of 1992 that scared the Australia Kangaroos 36-14 in Townsville, Australia. 

He said the current Kumuls were psychologically defeated before they went to the game.

He said his 1992 Kumuls team that held Australia Kangaroos 8-0 at half time played without fear. 

“If the Kangaroos captain Wally Lewis can tell the Kumuls after the game that  they were robbed by poor refereeing then I believe that this 1992 team was the best.

“The 1992 PNG Kumuls were all home-grown players and they did the job because they believed in themselves rather than trying to be something they were not,” he said.

Terry said rugby league should be promoted through schools to identify talented youngsters.  

“It is basically going back to the schoolboys competition. There should be a proper nation wide schoolboys competition. The best players from this national competition can be give scholarships to attend schools in Australia – this is where a lot of players learn how to be proffessional and committed eventually going on to play for NRL clubs,” he said.

Terry said building a winning PNG Kumuls team required knowing the players and what they respond best to and motivating them. 

He added that a lot of Kumul players did not come through schoolboys programme but from Digicel Cup. 

Terry said the results from the World Cup were a foregone conclusion but PNGRFL needed to relook at its structure and the development of the game in the country.

He said Mal Meninga and Adrian Lam could not change the result.

“Samoa, Tonga and Cooks Islands are the smallest islands in the region but they proved to be more competitive than Papua New Guinea,” Terry said. 

“Something is not right.”