Southern Zone coach blasts Orchids’ performance


SOUTHERN Zone women’s head coach Bagelo Ben Solien, pictured, was disappointed with the performance of the PNG Orchids against England and Canada in the women’s rugby league World Cup in Sydney at the weekend.
Solien said it wasn’t a fitting end to the great year that women’s rugby league had in the country.
He said compared to the national team the PNG Defence Force women’s team put up good fight against the Australian Defence Force women’s team going down by two points in the last five minutes at the National Football Stadium recently.
Solien said the bulk of the team were from the Southern Confederate and were trained to play with direction in attack and link work which was why most of them made the national side and he could not understand why none of that was evident in their two World Cup games.
“The Orchids have a really good five-eighth in Sally Joe so you’d think the link work on the edges would be an area the Orchids could work towards,” he said.
“I’m not sure why Southern Confederate fullback Freda Waula was dropped.
“I’m aware that after her dropping she was called up by the PNG women’s sevens team to the Oceania Cup where she’s played well for the women’s 7s team pulling off some big wins.
“Waula could have been lethal with her link work, support play and experience at the back.
“We’ve had two fullbacks in two games and with Amelia Kuk being injured and centre specialist Helen Abau filling in the void which is not good when we’re trying to get some combinations going.
“The team wasn’t competitive around the ruck area; an area that England and Canada dominated, our line defence wasn’t assuring as players were back paddling instead of trying to move off the line.
“They did not put pressure on the opposition’s attack, an area the Orchids need to improve on.
“While I can understand their performance against a team like England the performance against Canada was unacceptable.
“The Orchids have the fire power and players that can get the job done in Carol Humeu, Janet Michael, Maima Wei and Brenda Goro, both in defence and attack with halfback Sally Joe and Delailah Ahose at dummy half.
“The Orchids’ attacking structure and direction in the last two games was really poor. If anything it’s been a get to the try line and do your best instead of having some form of structure for the team to play towards.
“It’s been evident in the last two games that there is no structure and direction in attack. The Orchids have one more match in their pool another superpower New Zealand and I hope the coaching staff get it right and finish on a positive note.”