8 Oct 2013

Sport: PNG League defends national set-up

2:45 pm on 8 October 2013

The Papua New Guinea Rugby League Federation has defended the national set-up after criticism following last month's heavy loss to the Australian Prime Minister's 13.

Deputy Chairman Sandis Tsaka says coaches Mal Meninga, Adrian Lam and the national selectors have the 100 percent full confidence and backing of the PNGRFL Board.

He says attacks on the credibility of the PNG selectors in the press and suggestions that they did not have a say in picking the team are ridiculous.

Kumuls High Performance Director Mal Meninga has also released a statement.

He says the 50-10 drubbing in Kokopo was a reality check that truly showed where the PNG team sits on the ladder of world rugby league.

He says rugby league internationally has advanced significantly over the past decade, whereas years of infighting have let down the talented youth in PNG, taking away pathways for them to excel and leading to a decline in the standard of players being produced.

Mal Meninga says the new administration and restructuring of the game is a positive step but it will take time before the hard work behind the scenes is reflected on the field, and in the meantime the lofty expectations on the current side in PNG are unfair and not realistic.

Meninga says he remains confident the Kumuls will be competitive at the upcoming World Cup in the Northern Hemisphere.