Hunters clip Magpies


THE SP Papua New Guinea Hunters improved their run of victories over the Souths Logan Magpies to seven on the trot, with a gutsy 22-20 win in Brisbane yesterday.
The result sees the South Pacific Brewery-sponsored side in third spot (6 points) on the Intrust Super Cup ladder after three rounds with an unblemished start to the 2017 season so far.
Two other sides also remain unbeaten, with the Townsville Blackhawks, whom the Hunters face in Round 12, on top of the standings after a 60-12 hacking of the Mackay Cutters on Saturday.
The Wynnum Manly Seagulls are in second spot with a slightly better points differential then the Hunters.
The clash at Davies Park saw both sides score four tries apiece but the Hunters led throughout the match and never really looked in danger of being run down by the home side.
Hunters captain and halfback Ase Boas kicked three from four conversions to ensure his side always had their noses in front at every juncture.
Winger Paul Wawa, pictured, who was replaced temporarily early in the second half after a head knock opened up a gash, scored a try on debut while fullback Stargroth Amean also etched his name as the game’s first try-scorer in the 13th minute.
Centre Willie Minoga added a brace of four-pointers in the second stanza with his first a 70-metre effort after Magpies No.7 Sam Scarlett had the ball jolted loose by a Stanton Albert hit seven minutes into the half.
Minoga picked up the ball near his 30m line and out-paced the cover defence to score arguably the try of the day.
The former back-rower capped off another entertaining effort with the match-winner in the 56th minute.
Magpies centre Scott Doyle did his best to swing the game Souths way with a try and two goals but in the end two missed conversions cost his side dearly and continued their losing streak against the PNG side.
Souths Logan’s other tries were scored by fullback Isaako (21st min), Matthew Minto (39) and winger Cameron Booth (80).
Referee Nick Pelgrave, who blew 26 penalties the last time he controlled a Hunters fixture in Round 1, kept his emotions in check and allowed the play to flow.
With the Hunters set to take on the Norths Devils at the National Football Stadium this Sunday, a win on the road coupled with a solid return to action by Amean as well as the hot form of Minoga and the steel the forward pack showed, will put them in good stead for the Round 4 fixture. The Devils proved they will not be easybeats for coach Michael Marum’s men though with a sound 32-10 dousing off the Ipswich Jets yesterday at Bishop Park.
The Hunters return to Port Moresby today.
Souths Logan Magpies 20 (Jamayne Isaako, Matthew Minto, Scott Doyle, Cameron Booth tries; S Doyle 2 con) PNG Hunters 22 (Stargroth Amean, Paul Wawa, Willie Minoga 2 tries; Ase Boas 3 con) at Davies Park, Brisbane. H/T: 10-12 (Hunters).
Results: Sat, March 18 – Blackhawks 60 Cutters 12, Capras 12 Bears 10, Pride 10 Falcons 22, Tigers 18 Dolphins 10; Sun, March 19 – TH Seagulls 18 WM Seagulls 24, Magpies 20 Hunters 22, Devils 32 Jets 10.

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