21 Oct 2010

PNG rugby league coach tells side not to be overawed

12:26 pm on 21 October 2010

Papua New Guinea coach Stanley Gene says his side must not be overawed by their Australian counterparts when the two teams square-off this weekend.

The Kumuls and Kangaroos open their Four Nations schedule at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday in Gene's first official test match in charge of the national team.

Papua New Guinea have just the one NRL player in Cronulla hooker Paul Aiton, while, despite an injury list featuring the likes of Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges and Jarryd Hayne, the home side have a plethora of stars to call upon.

Stanley Gene says while they have already been written off in the media it's important his players go out on the field in a positive frame of mind.

"The main thing for me that I argue is to try to get them to play structured football - use their eyes and their brains more - and the main football point that I'm trying to put across is the mental side of it: believe in themselves, believe that they are number one players and believe in everything that they do on the field off the field."

Stanley Gene says if his players have aspirations to play in the NRL or Super League it's important they challenge Australia and show they can compete at the top level.