By Derrick Nagul
Our national team which carries the pride of the nation should and must always play another national team to maintain the respect for the jersey, our history and our standard.
Sure the Rabithos have been one of the form teams in the NRL this year and have super stars like Greg Inglis, Isaac Luke and Nathan Merrit and I’m sure Kumul hopefuls in the Digicel Cup are keen to take them on. But this is merely an awkward exhibition match with most of the benefits going to the South Sydney Rabithos; gate takings at Stadium Australia, marketing and publicity and their players getting another match fee outside of their normal contractual terms.
Channel 9 will of course get the televising rights and make money. PNG will spend taxpayers money to send our team down and with this being a one off match it cannot be interpreted as preparation for the Rugby League World Cup. It’s an excursion.
Adrian Lam has done a fantastic job at the helm of the Kumuls plus league in general in PNG, I know he is the best man to wear the title of coach. But in this instance I believe he has missed the mark.
The Kumuls consist of the best players in PNG at this moment, so they should naturally play another country’s national team fielding their best players. That is the real test.
We need relevant preparation for the World Cup next year, the PNG government needs to put money into the Kumuls lead up and give Lam and the Kumuls all the support and resources they need.
Let’s play current world champions New Zealand or Samoa and Fiji and measure ourselves. Win lose or draw, I know I will support the Kumuls with pride when they take on another national team. Because that’s why the PNG Kumuls were created for in the first place.