By ISAAC LIRI
BRANDY Peter has been included in the SP PNG Hunters squad for Sunday’s Intrust Super Cup round 12 fixture at the National Football Stadium.
It caps off a trying last six months for the back-rower, who only last year experienced his best season where he was one of the first players picked in coach Michael Marum’s pack and impressed off the bench during the Pacific test against Fiji.
The Southern Highlander failed to back that great year in the preseason, turning up unfit and was consequently dropped from the 2017 final 29-man squad. After unsuccessfully trying to link up with the Souths Logan Magpies earlier this season and then also being linked to the Ipswich Jets, the Pangia native resolved to ask Marum for a second chance, which he was given, provided he lifted his fitness and conditioning to Q-Cup standard while bidding his time in the Digicel Cup with the Mendi Muruks.
Peter maybe 18th man for Sunday’s match, but the fact that has got himself back to this level after going off the rails speaks volumes for the 25-year-old.
Marum said he thought Peter was now ready to play in the Intrust Super Cup, however the 101kg forward did pick up a thigh injury over the weekend in the Digicel Cup and would need to prove his fitness before the game.
Peter said he was grateful for his opportunity and after a trying year so far he was happy to be considered.
“I didn’t give up after getting dropped in the preseason.
“I got an offer from the Magpies but that didn’t work out and I decided to try and get back into the Hunters,” Peter said. In other changes to the team, back-rower David Loko was ruled out for this weekend with a foot injury.
Meanwhile, Willie Minoga returns from a two-game suspension in the Loko’s No.12 jersey showing his versatility after playing most of the opening 12 rounds in the centres.
Winger Paul Wawa, who was solid against the Ipswich Jets last weekend, trained lightly with a sore knee and will be given up until the end of the week to prove his fitness.
With either Butler Morris or Karo Kauna Jr the likely replacement if Wawa withdraws.
Moses Meninga and Adex Wera were cited for dangerous throws in last weekend’s 32-12 win over the Jets and are waiting on the QRL judiciary.
Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Bland Abavu 3. Israel Eliab 4. Adex Wera 5. Paul Wawa 6.Ase Boas (c) 7. Watson Boas 8. Wellington Albert 9. Wartovo Puara Jr 10. Esau Siune 11. Nixon Put 12. Willie Minoga 13. Stanton Albert; Reserves: 14. Sailas Gahuna 15. Rhadley Brawa 16. Enoch Maki 17. Moses Meninga 18. Brandy Peter 19. Ismael Balkawa 20. Butler Morris.
By ISAAC LIRI