AFTER a week with the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII, assistant Michael Marum is upbeat the side can compete against Australia on October 12.
Marum said the team had successfully completed its second week of training at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo, after assembling seven days earlier.
Marum said his players were training well and had not lost their sharpness despite being out of action for a month.
The 40-year-old said the side had the advantage of training in the conditions and were keen on getting the most out of their workouts which included fitness and cardio sessions complemented by gym work.
With majority of the selected players from SP Hunters, Marum said it was easier to work with them.
“They know what we (coaching staff) expect from them. This is a big game coming so all players have to step up from where they have left off,” Marum said.
He said the side was training well with fitness levels good although there was some fatigue experienced by the players.
Marum said there were no major injury concerns and the only problem was the muscle soreness players experienced when they did intensive training after coming from a break.
Despite head coach Mal Meninga yet to join the team, Marum said he was in daily contact with the Queensland Origin coach discussing and receiving directions on training and preparations.
He said with just a week left, Meninga was counting on him to take the team through its paces and have them in shape for the match against the Australian PM’s XIII.
Marum said Meninga would hopefully be with the team early next week.
“Mal is urging the team to work on little things and get them right before the game,” Marum said. He said the players had bonded well and had welcomed Sydney Rooster Rhys Martin and were enjoying themselves.
“Team spirit in Kokopo is great; the 21 players including Roosters’ player Rhys Martin are enjoying training and bonding well as a team.”
Marum confirmed that the 17-player team list was not yet ready and would only be finalised after Meninga joins the team in Kokopo. “We have a strong side to play against and our main aim is to prepare and organise well to ensure the boys give 100 percent effort.
“I am urging the boys to work hard and believe in their talent and enjoy the game.
“Most of them will be playing for the first time against the Australians,” he said.
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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