By PARKER TAMBUA
PROP Andickson Yamason says he is keen on repaying the faith Rabaul Gurias have shown in him by committing to the Agmark-sponsored side for the long term.
The Lawiri villager, from Pangia, Southern Highlands, said the Digicel Cup club had recognised his potential while he was playing in the Port Moresby Rugby Football League (POMRFL) two years ago.
The 20-year-old is a former junior Papua New Guinea Kumul who played alongside SP Hunters utility Judah Rimbu, Lae Tiger Cedric Maima and fellow Guria Nathan Tente against the New South Wales Under-16s in Port Moresby in 2016.
Yamason, whose mum is from Sinesine, Chimbu, told The National on Tuesday that he loved the Gurias’ culture and he wanted to help the Kokopo-based side snap their six-year title drought.
“I came through Tarangau’s junior team and went on to play with the senior side in the POMRFL competition,” he said.
“It was late 2019 when the Gurias identified me while I was playing with Laumas in the Fuzzy Wuzzy Nines rugby league tournament.
“I made my Digicel Cup debut last year and played nine games in the season.
“It was a great experience and I was fortunate to play alongside PNG Kumuls pair Wartovo Puara Jr and Watson Boas at club level.
“We won the minor premiership and reached the finals.”
Yamason said this year had been tough for the Gurias with the loss of Ila Alu, Terry Wapi, Epel Kapinias, Jordan Pat and Puara to the SP Hunters, and Boas to third-tier English club Doncaster.
But the mass departure saw his elevation to the starting front row.
“We lost a number of good forwards like Kapinias, Alu and Pat, so I had to step up,” Yamason said.
“Thankfully, we still have experienced forwards like Buddy Jack and Isaac Patrick who are helping out.
“We feel that we carry a lot of responsibility and there are big shoes to fill.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has also affected our preparations.
“But two things I’ve learnt from this team are character building and discipline.
“Being with the Gurias for two seasons now, I think the club has made me a better person.”
The forward is now doing Grade 12 at Kokopo’s Nojanah Integrated School while playing for the Marcus Kaugla-coached Gurias.
“ Being with the Gurias for two seasons now, I think the club has made me a better person.”
“I completed Grade 10 at Laloki Secondary School in Port Moresby in 2019,” Yamason said.
“When I joined the Gurias last year, I transferred and continued Grade 11 here at Nojanah.
“It’s challenging but I’m juggling education and rugby league well.
“If I get selected to a tertiary institution next year, I will still find a way to continue playing with the Gurias if they retain me.”
Yamason said his inspiration was his uncle and former Kumul, the late Ben Bire.
“He is my uncle from my mum’s side and he was the one who inspired me to take up rugby league,” he said.
“When I was a kid, he talked to me about playing rugby league and that’s what I’m doing now.
“I’m proud of how far I’ve come at this age and I will continue to give my best for the Gurias.”