HuntersAwards

Boas tops awards

Sports

FIVE-EIGHTH Ase Boas earned the vote of his peers and his coach as the Papua New Guinea Hunters’ best when he was named Player of the Year at the club’s presentation on Saturday.
The 28-year-old play-maker got the nod ahead of teammates Justin Olam and Wartovo Puara Junior, both of whom have had stellar seasons for the Hunters.
But the soft-spoken Boas, who is a police constable based in Kokopo, when he is not playing for the Hunters, had to wait until the end of the awards ceremony to get his accolade.
“I was a bit nervous because the boys were getting all the awards and I thought was going to miss out but in the end I was surprised but pretty excited as well,” Boas, pictured left, said of claiming the evening’s top honour.
“I haven’t got this type of award playing for my club in the Digicel Cup (Gurias) or clubs but to get this award is an honour and a first for me. I don’t think I really deserve this award because I play alongside a lot of really good players but to be recognised over the year as the best is a blessing.”
Olam, 22, claimed the Top Try-scorer (14 tries) and Rookie of the Year awards while Puara Jr was named the Players’ Player of the Year.
The Sinasina man said he was proud to be part of the Hunters and even though he was leaving the club to join the Melbourne Storm next year his heart was with the Port Moresby-based Q-Cup side.
Olam was pipped for the Best Back award by the Bland Abavu, whose second half of the Intrust Super Cup season had shown his value as a fullback after initiatlly being used as a winger by coach Michael Marum last season.
The 195cm tall Koiari man made the most of a mid-season shift to the custodial position and secured the No.1 jersey with his 10 tries and strong display as a kick returner and counter-attacker.
The Best Forward gong went to perhaps the most improved player in the Hunters set up with Brandy Peter’s sucessful 2016 built on sound fundmentals (making metres and playing big minutes against all opposition) as well as having consistency throughout – the Southern Highlander also introduced an off-load and a well-timed side step to his personal repertoire of skills.
Captain Noel Zeming, pictured right, as expected took the Top Point-scorer’s award with 120 points from the five tries and 50 goals – all this despite missing 10 games.
Zeming thanked his teammates for scoring the tries and reserved a special mention for Marum, who he said had guided him through the season. On the subject of statistics and keeping track of his progress Zeming said he was oblivious to the numbers and that helping the side win was the most important consideration for him.
“To be honest, I haven’t got a clue about my points total for the season and things like that,” Zeming said.
“I never keep records. This is my third year and I’ve gotten the same award for most points in a season  and I’m proud of the achievement but without the boys I wouldn’t be able to kick the goals – all I do is complement their hard work with the two points.”
Centre Thompson Teteh was acknowledged for his contributions to the Hunters cause with the Best Defender accolade. The 27-year-old maintained his reputation as a great defensive centre throughout 2016.
Head trainer Solomon Kuluniasi was recognised for his role earning the Clubman of the Year award.
After the departure of former head trainer Jason Tassell last year, Kuluniasi has slotted seamlessly into the lead role with the help of assistants Toua Kohu, Joe Bruno and Roger Laka.
The wily Adex Wera recieved the Players’ Choice award while the ever reliable and consistent Easau Siune earned the Coach’s award.
Twenty-year-old Warren Glare was named the PNGRFL Chairman’s choice for the Bow and Arrow award.

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