“If you want the team to do what you ask, you have to go and do it first. Discipline is a big thing. Discipline happens both on and off the field. We have had a lot of issues with laziness and alcohol. We have had to let players go.” Said former Papua New Guinea Hunters Head Coach, Michael Marum.
LIFE STORY OF MICHAEL MARUM REFLECTS HARDWORK, DEDICATION, DISCIPLINE AND HONESTY - FORMER PAPUA NEW GUINEA RUGBY LEAGUE COACH.
An extract from an article written by Scott Waide | Vincent Moses @PNGNEWS.
Michael Marum was born in Rabaul in 1973. He went to Boisen High School – an institution that had a strong sporting culture.
Boisen produced some of the country’s best track and field competitors including Takale Tuna, the member of the Papua New Guinea relay team that won back to back gold medals in the 1991 South Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.
“When we were small, we used to go and watch them play. But I never played rugby in school.”
Dreams about representative rugby league were still far off. The closest the young Michael Marum got to playing rugby league was on the beaches before going home in the afternoon.
“We had no rugby ball so we played with dried coconuts that were light enough to throw.”
When he came to Port Moresby for school, he began playing off season rugby league with a bunch of guys from Koiari and Simbu living at the 5 mile suburb.
“That was in 1991 and 1992. I played for the Kanage Raiders.”
At the grassless Unagi Oval in Port Moresby, he played B-grade matches then moved into the A-grade team.
“A lot of my relatives didn’t like seeing me play there. I would come home in the afternoon with scratches and injuries and they thought I had been in a fight.”
Soon, Marum found himself playing A-grade rugby league with the Paga Panthers then the Port Moresby Vipers.
Around the same period, players like Stanley Gene and Marcus Bai signed contracts to play overseas. Bai brought a new following of Papua New Guinea fans to the Melbourne Storms.
“They had a big influence. We followed the same path and played in the same clubs. So I had to work hard.
“When Mark Mom came, would train together then run home from 4 mile to Gordons after the gym.”
Representative duties took Marum to Queensland then to France in 2000 for the World Cup.
“By then, I was 27. It was quite late in terms of my age. I had to fight for the Kumul Jersey and I didn’t give up.”
By 2001, another responsibility came calling when he went back home to Rabaul. Marum joined the Rabaul Gurias and was given the task to leading the team as captain.
“The Gurias had a lot of experienced players. But I think the leadership was lacking at the time.”
The hard work was put in and the Gurias went to win successive campaigns.
“If you want the team to do what you ask, you have to go and do it first.
“At first, some people said: Who is this guy? We don’t know him. But then when they started seeing results, they started following.”
The same work ethic has been brought to the Hunters. Marum’s style has been to lead by example, be disciplined and work hard.
“Discipline is a big thing. Discipline happens both on and off the field. We have had a lot of issues with laziness and alcohol. We have had to let players go.”
While the Hunters have achieved success, Marum says the Intrust Super Cup and the Hunters Program represents only a tiny part of rugby league.
- Scott Waide