BY PRISCILLA HARRY
Despite a successful campaign in the 2017 RLWC, PNG Kumuls arrived into the country yesterday on a quite mode.
PNG Rugby Football League (RFL) Chairman Sandis Tsaka praised the efforts of the team and said despite going down to England in the quarter final, PNG Kumuls now have the opportunity to take on other nations in the upcoming world Cup in 2021.
The Kumuls are now split up, with several NRL players based in Australia remaining.
The other Super League and PNG based players arrived in the country and will depart for their home provinces.
Tsaka thanked the efforts of coach Michael Marum with his coaching staff, the players, and officials behind the scene to participate in the competition.
Tsaka said PNG’s ranking will now change as a result depending on their finish on the quarterfinals but will wait after the end of the World Cup to determine PNG’S new ranking in the world.
“This year has being a good one for the code itself, PNG was ranked 16th in the last World Cup but we know we can take on from this experience to improve the code through junior programs starting next year,” he added.
Meanwhile, coach Marum was hopeful of the team’s performance and said the boys had displayed to the best of their ability in all four matches.
Marum said without the support of the coaching staff, players and supporters, the team would not have made it to the quarterfinals.
However, Kumuls captain David Mead who seemed disappointed due to him missing out on the match said the team put a bravery show on their performance.
“It was great being part of the team for the last seven weeks of the World Cup,” he added.
Mead said it was an emotional experience, but the exposure has brought a new stepping stone and adventure for the code of rugby league in PNG.
For Meads career, he said he will still show up in the next World Cup in 2021 but will travel to Australia to continue his contract with the NRL Brisbane Broncos in the next season.
The PNG Kumuls will meet again for another camp for the 2018 Pacific test by mid June next year.