By JACK AMI
PAPUA New Guinea assistant coach Stanley Tepend is confident that Kumuls star Edwin Ipape, if picked to take the field, will make an impact for Manly at the National Rugby League (NRL) Nines which kicks off today.
He said Ipape would be playing against NRL stars but more so young guys like himself wanting to earn a spot in their respective teams.
Tepend, who coached the Kumul at the Lae Tigers, said Sea Eagles head coach Des Hasler was a smart coach and knew what he was doing otherwise he would not have picked Ipape in the squad.
“Just like Justin Olam at the Melbourne Storm, we at the Lae Tigers are pleased about providing Edwin a pathway to fulfill his dream of playing in the NRL,” he said.
“Edwin and Justin represent the Tigers and the values we want from our players both on and off field. These values can help them reach their goals. He still has a long way to go but we know he is capable.”
Tepend said Olam had a few years at the Storm before actually making the first-grade side in the NRL.
“We are really happy with his progression and we are glad we contributed to his NRL career in a small way,” he said. “It’s really up to each player to make it. They put in the effort and reap the rewards afterwards.”
Tepend said five Papua New Guinea internationals would compete in the two-day NRL Nines and it was exciting to see the players compete at that level leading up to next year’s Rugby League World Cup.
By JACK AMI