For years Michael Marum was forced to live in the shadow of other men considered his betters.
The former Kumul hooker has understudied the national coaching job since the early 2000s.
He was Bob Bennett’s protege in 2004 and then served under Queensland legend Adrian Lam from 2007 onwards.
He has been to two Wolrd Cups (2008 and 2013) but had little influence on the team.
It is 2014 and he still has not got the top job but he’s got the perfect platform to launch a meaningful campaign.
Ask most Papua New Guineans who is the best local coach and the response is almost unanimous – Michael Marum.
Being coach of the SP Hunters in the Queensland Cup was always going to be a test of the 40-year-old’s ability to guide a side at a professional level.
But if his domestic success (with the Agmark Gurias) is anything to go by, Marum has always displayed an appreciation for how best to use players and where to use them.
He’s won multiple titles in the Digicel Cup and has consistently been one of the competition’s best coaches.
Even if his methods seem a little against the grain (not picking a specialist forward on his bench for tomorrow’s match has raised some eyebrows) but the results say he knows more than he is letting on.
The monosyllabic Marum may have pulled off the ultimate con – which is simply that he is better, much better, than many gave him credit for previously.
Victory against the Mackay Cutters, who are incidentally the defending Intrust Super Cup champions, will be another notch to Marum’s growing list of accomplishments.
The Hunters’ success in 2014 will ultimately come down to the players themselves.
But there can be no denying that Marum is a big part of their fortunes. The National
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36