Telikom PNG Kumuls coach Stanley Gene believes there are more than enough positives to take out of the Kumuls’ 42-0 loss to Australia ahead of their clash against New Zealand this Saturday in Rotorua.
Gene was pleased with the defensive performance and says there is definitely a foundation to build on for the remainder of the tournament.
“Our boys gave two hundred percent on Sunday and I think the Australians will still be feeling some of the hits the boys put on them,” Gene said at the team’s recovery session today.
“We gave up some easy possession in the first half and they also scored some lucky tries which blew the score out a little bit.
“We kept them scoreless for a thirty minute period which is a real positive...not many other nations could say they have done that.
“Now it is a matter of sitting down and looking at the tape in the next few days to see where we can improve for the New Zealand game.”
In other news, imposing back-rower Sigfred Gande has been forced to withdraw from the tournament with a groin injury.
Gande will remain with the team throughout the Four Nations tournament and North Sydney back-rower James Nightingale has been brought in as his replacement.
Official application for Nightingale’s inclusion was made to tournament director, Mr. Geoff Carr, prior to the commencement of the New Zealand and England match in Wellington.
Tournament rules state players may be brought in prior to the commencement of the tournament after applications have been approved by the tournament director.