PNG coach learns from Ipswich style
THE Ipswich Jets winning combination has been noticed by rugby league coaches overseas.
The free-running playing style and high levels of player fitness has drawn interest from international mentors looking to bolster their own sides ahead of the 2016 season.
That includes Stanley Tepend.
The former international player and coach of the PNG Prime Minister XIII squad for 2015 has joined the Jets at training to discover some of their secrets to success.
Tepend coaches the Snax Lae Tigers in the PNG national rugby league competition, the Digicel Cup.
Snax Lae is one of the newer sides in the PNG competition.
Tepend took over as head coach after the side finished with the wooden spoon in 2013.
Since then Tepend has propelled the side to two minor premierships only to fall short come finals time.
Tepend said he hoped to find the missing piece to the premiership puzzle at the Jets.
"Just coming here and seeing what kind of fitness would be good for us, those are the questions I will be putting to the Walker brothers," Tepend said.
"Our season starts later in the year but we still start pre-season training in December.
"Although starting earlier was good to get those extra couple of months of fitness, at the back end of the season I think it started to affect us."
The use of video recordings to analyse players and provide feedback is one aspect of the Jets training Tepend believes could benefit his Tigers.
"I was fortunate that as soon as I got to the first training session on Monday they were had a video session set up in the change rooms so I sat in on that," he said.
"We do use video as well but the way the coaches didn't look so much at the negatives but on the positives and what changes can be made was pretty good. I think I will take that back with me."
Tepend said another surprise was how the players took ownership of their own warm-ups.
"The players all knew what to do and there wasn't a trainer telling them to stretch this or stretch that," he said.
"That was different too."
Tepend reunited with his former charge, Jets star winger Richard "Liklik" Pandia, one of Tepend's players in last year's Prime Minister XIII squad.
The Jets have plenty of PNG talent for 2016 with Richard's brother Sebastian, a former PNG Hunters captain, joining the squad.