By ISAAC LIRI
MOSES Meninga will miss out on Sunday’s clash with the Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park after coping a one-game ban for a dangerous throw.
SP PNG Hunters Coach Michael Marum said losing Meninga meant a reshuffle to his starting pack and added that the Western Highlander’s absence was be a blow.
But Marum remained confident that the replacement would do a fine job.
“Moses has been very good for us on both defence and attack and he does add height to our pack so that’s unfortunate but we’ll have to manage,” Marum said.
The Hunters forward stocks took a further hit with Stanton Albert ruled out of the round 8 match with a sternum injury.
Rhadley Brawa, Willie Minoga and Enoch Maki are the forwards on the bench with Ishmael Balkawa the 18th man.
Wawa Paul, who made his debut in round 3 against Souths Logan, was initially named on the extended bench and is the fourth reserve.
Taking on the Q-Cup reigning champions Marum and his troops are once again expecting a tough match and as tradition between both sides every year on the ANZAC weekend, the Hunters are aiming to bring back the Kokoda Cup which they lost to the Bears last year in round eight. “We lost to the Bears last year and we lost the Kokoda Cup to them and last week they had a good game against the Townsville Blackhawks and they’ll be hard to beat at home and are probably picking up that great form from last year.
“The Bears have one of our own in their side Luke Page and he played big minutes last week and got some big metres so they’ll be tough at home,” Marum said.
Incumbent Kumul props Henry Wan and Page go head-to-head for a spot in Marum’s Kumul team for the May test against the Cook Islands.
The team leaves for Brisbane tomorrow morning and travel down to Burleigh Heads for the Sunday afternoon (2pm) fixture. The game will be televised live on TV Wan Channels 90 (PlayBox) and Channel 117 (Hitron).
Hunters: 1.Bland Abavu 2. Stargroth Amean 3. Israel Eliab 4. Adex Wera 5. Karo Kauna Jr 6. Ase Boas (C) 7. Watson Boas 8. Henry Wan 9. Wartovo Puara Jr 10. Esau Siune 11. Nixon Put 12. David Loko 13. Wellington Albert; Reserves: 14.Radley Brawa 15. Willie Minoga 16. Enoch Maki 17. Wawa Paul 18. Ishmael Balkawa
Round 8 Fixtures: Sat, April 22 – WM Seagulls v Capras, Cutters v Tigers; Sun, April 23 – Magpies v Jets, Dolphins v Falcons, Bears v SP Hunters, Devils v Pride, Blackhawks v TH Seagulls.
By ISAAC LIRI