By Richard Cowley, Date:11/2/13
On Saturday the 2nd of Feb under the watchful eyes of Adrian Lam’s the Kumuls won the Cabramatta International 9’s by defeating West Illawarra 10 – 4 in the final. The 9’s tournament provided a solid practice run for the Kumuls but did not provide the match fitness required to take on a team at NRL level.
The following Saturday the Kumuls found themselves at Redfern oval taking on South Sydney. The game itself all part of Adrian’s Lam’s master plan to give the Kumuls every possible chance to do well at this years World Cup.
The PNG team hit the lead early in the 1st half via some tough defence but fitness took it’s toll and the Kumuls ran out of steam allowing the Rabbitohs to pile on the points. The full time score South Sydney 38 – PNG Residents XIII 12. The is no denying the Kumuls have truckloads of heart. Their achilles heal is fitness.
The PNG coaching team need to be focusing on match fitness more then anything else in the lead up to the World Cup. Hopefully the Kumuls will be able to get over to the UK early and have a few warm up games before their first match of the World Cup against France on the 27th of October.
France will have a majority of seasoned super league players in their ranks thanks to the French based Super League side Catalan Dragons. The PNG team will have a few super league and NRL players in the mix but will be made up of mainly resident based players. If the PNG team can some how find the match fitness seen at NRL or Super League level then their raw talent will carry them along way in the World Cup.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 38 (Jason Clark 2, Ben Lowe, Dave Tyrrell, Chris McQueen, Aaron Gray, Bennett Leslie tries; Bryson Goodwin 4, Apisai Koroisau goals)
Papua New Guinea Residents XIII 12 (Israel Eliab 2 tries; Israel Eliab 2 goals)
Highlights from the South Sydney v Papua New Guinea match at Redfern Oval can be viewed at: http://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news-display/Match-Highlights–Return-to-Redfern-2013/68144