The National, Friday October 11th, 2013
THE past two weeks have been hard on the Kumuls and their management.
There has been a great criticism on the side’s performance and what coach Adrian Lam and high performance manager Mal Meninga are doing to get the team up and ready for the World Cup.
There have been opinions from several in the rugby league fraternity that have lambasted the efforts of our players and the coaching team.
Is the criticism unfair? Are we being too harsh on the country’s national team?
The fact is the Kumuls will struggle at the World Cup. We just do not have the calibre of players right now to make us competitive.
The real question everyone should be asking is what has been done about developing the talent we have and why have we not got a better team than we had in 2008?
If having more overseas-based players will get us results then so be it. Pick those players until our local talent is good enough.
Lam has been coaching the Kumuls for close to seven years now. Can we say that the Kumuls have improved in that time?
Meninga does not seem to think so.
In fact he has said that league in this country has regressed. Why did he not say that when he got the job?
In any sport a coach’s job is to get results but he/she should be supported by the administration that runs the sport. That has not happened in this country.
It has been a disjointed mess for so long, with bickering among the associate leagues compounded by a lackluster management.
The preparation for this campaign should have started at the end of the last World Cup.
We are now essentially taking a side that is not much of an improvement on the last World Cup squad.
We should not expect much from them but whose fault is that?
As for the amount of public money that has been used on the preparations, not to mention the renumertaion packages, we need to see tangible results and a clear plan on where Team Kumul is headed and when it will get there.
Nobody said it would be easy but its time to start earning that money.