PNG LNG Kumuls

Kumuls extended 21-man squad announced

“There could be changes between now and Saturday. We’ll come up with the final 18 on Friday afternoon, “said coach, Michael Marum.

Luke Page and Stanton Albert are the props while Canterbury Bulldogs pair, Rhyse Martin and Rod Griffin will be the second rowers with Paul Aiton to lock the scrum.

Five-eighth and vice-captain, Ase Boas who is still under an injury cloud has been named to start in the halves alongside brother Watson Boas, while Wartovo Puara Jnr is the hooker.

Kumuls run coaching clinic at Boera

The players received a warm welcome from the locals with traditional dances and excited students of Boera primary.

Village councillor, Viviene McArthur, expressed her gratitude to ExxonMobil and the PNGRFL for organising the clinic.

“I am aware that such opportunities do not come that easy to our doorsteps,” he said.

“Boera is so privileged to have the Kumuls here today. I am optimistic that your visit will be an inspiration to young boys and girls here and make a positive impact.”

Kumuls countdown to World Cup

The PNG Kumuls 23 men squad resumed camp in Port Moresby as the countdown continues to the world cup.

Kumuls moved into camp at the new Kumuls Headquarters at Gateway Hotel that will be their home for the next three weeks.

The players were on a break from camp for a few days after the Ti Nations in Fiji. 

Training began with a gym session and with the wet weather kicking in this week, field sessions are expected to go ahead.

Kumuls given three days off

“We’re allowing the boys to go away and spend some time with family.

“We’ll all get back into camp on the 19th and start preparing for the first game against Wales,” said coach Michael Marum.

Marum said he will be sticking to a 23-man squad for the World Cup.

“The reason is so that we can allow one more coaching staff to come in. With 23, we can cover the three games.”

Marum said Paul Aiton is expected to fly over from England to join camp this week.

Marum pleased with performance

Speaking on arrival at Jackson’s airport today, Michael Marum said the focus was on testing out the different combinations in preparation for the Rugby League World Cup 2017.

“It was a really good game against Fiji and Australia. We basically now have a fair idea of which players will be starting for game one (against Wales on October 28) next weekend.

“We were mainly looking at the combinations. We had a lot of changes which allowed us to trial out players in different positions,” he said.

Kumuls beat Fiji; lose to Kangaroos

PNG dominated over the NRL star studded line-up with tries to captain David Mead and Luke Page to beat the Fijians in the first 40 minutes.

Early nerves got the better of both sides in the opening exchanges with some scrappy play.

After finding their rhythm, the Kumuls were relentless, launching wave after wave of attacks.

Some classy play from Kumuls’ hooker, Kurt Baptiste, allowed Mead to slice through the defence and score.

The win was sealed late in the match when vice-captain, Ase Boas, set up a charging Page to crash over.

Mead ready to lead

“The majority of the boys are from the Hunters. They had a huge year, a very successful year. They’re a lot more professional now. They know how to look after their bodies really well. They’re also mentally a lot tougher.

“In my opinion, this is one of the best squads we’ve ever had.

“It’s just a matter of preparing well at training, taking that over to Fiji and building from there to get ready for the World Cup

It is a lifelong dream come true

The shy 21 year old Western Highlander played a hand in the win scoring one of the five tries in the Kumuls 32-22 triumph over the Cook Islands.

Put made his debut back in 2014 playing on the wing for the Mt. Hagen Eagles in the Digicel Cup competition.

2016 saw him shift into playing second-rower and after a stellar performance in the semi-professional competition, he got the nod from SP Hunters coach, Michael Marum.

 “I always prepare to slay my targets in every game and making it into the SP Hunters was one of my dreams.

PNGRFL aware of incident involving Kumuls player

However, as per legal advice, a formal media release will be issued as soon as all processes are completed by the police and courts in Australia.

“The matter is before the courts and as such, PNGRFL will be making no further comment until the matter is finalised,” said Chairman of the PNGRFL, Sandis Tsaka.

More details to follow…

Three wins from four test matches for Kumuls

“It is also two out of two for Coach Michael Marum since his appointment to the top job in 2016,” said Chairman of the PNG Rugby Football League, Sandis Tsaka.

Tsaka added this was a positive indication of the progress the sport and the national team has made since the new Board took over in 2014.  

“Every Kumuls win is significant because records show the Kumuls have won 20 games - with 14 at home and six away, and drawn two out of 76 Test matches played between 1974 and 2014,” added Tsaka.