Taumu: Size matters in rugby stocks

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday July 1st, 2012

A FORMER captain of the PNG Pukpuks Martin Taumu says rugby union has not developed sufficiently over the past two decades because the PNGRFU had not done enough to promote the game.
Taumu, speaking after his son’s selection into the Under-17 national team camp in Lae this month, was adamant that unless the code’s governing body looked at addressing the weaknesses in the game PNG rugby would continue to stagnate.
“Even union games played at settlement levels are more exciting,” Martin said. “We also need to start selecting taller, bulkier players as I see that our main reason for losing matches in international competition is because we do not have the players with size.”
Taumu used his son Troy and fellow West New Briton Ezra Kautu, who both stood at 185cm in the Pukpuks’ camp as examples of what can happen if more emphasis is placed on scouting out players for their size and working to improve the other areas.
Taumu said his son started playing rugby in the eighth grade and attributed his achievements primarily to his size.
“As soon as he started playing, he was selected; and he is playing in the city.
“What about all the young guys around the country who are equally big?” Taumu asked.
He said PNG would continue to struggle if it did not address the size issue so that the Pukpuks could match it physically with the upper tier nations.