Pic: Taneal Mead, Facebook

Mead produced two try saving tackles, including a brutal one-on-one hit on Bati centre after the Manly star had made a 50 metre break.

Pic: Taneal Mead, Facebook

PNG Kumuls coach Michael Marum made a surprising selection in Gold Coast Titans fullback David Mead. Even more surprising was the fact that Mead was named captain.

It didn’t take very long for critics to air their disappointment on social media over Marum’s move to give Mead the skippers role. It’s understandable that passionate fans would turn against the decision because if you can recall correctly, Mead declined to play for the Kumuls last year against Fiji instead opting to play in the NSW city and country  match.


But despite the avalanche of criticism,  David Mead played an outstanding role to lead his side to a 24-22 victory over the more bigger and experienced Fiji Batis at Pirtek  stadium.

Mead produced two try saving tackles, including a brutal one-on-one hit on Bati centre after the Manly star had made a 50 metre break.

The other was on Fiji fullback Tyrone Phillips, who Mead not only stopped on the tryline but managed to prevent the Canterbury utility from getting the ball down.

The lad from Tubusereia Village in the Central Province was everywhere taking the ball up in attack and defending strongly throughout the match. And it didn’t take very long for social media to go haywire praising the heroic display of their captain.

Michael Marum is destined for greatness.  If there was a poll today to determine Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Marum would be a clear favorite.  Not that Marum would ever want to enter politics, let alone become Prime Minister,  but such is the nature of Papua New Guinea’s love of rugby league that the sport is  an influential factor in politics.

It’s not just the win last night that makes Marum the most well liked person in the country at the moment. Many Papua New Guineans have been calling for him to be named coach after the defection of Australian Mal Meninga. Marum’s positive record at the Hunters is indisputable.

And the fact that Marum has a strong management team around him in the likes of former Kumuls Marcus Bai, Arnold Krewanty, John Wilshire and David Westley there’s a sense of patriotism, pride and inspiration in the red, black and gold jersey.

The win against the Batis gives confidence and hope more than anything else. Despite the lack of international matches,  the Kumuls will need to build on from this win.

All eyes will now be on the World Cup next year.  Papua New Guinea is off to a good start.  It has players with great potential, a coaching and management team with experience to give direction and a rugby league fan base you can’t get anywhere else in the world.

Need we say more?