hunters

Hunters lose Boas

Sports

By ISAAC LIRI

PAPUA New Guinea Hunters captain Ase Boas has been ruled out of tomorrow’s Q-Cup round 15 clash against the Tweed Heads Seagulls.
The goal-kicking half was unable to recover from a left ankle injury picked up in last round’s torrid 12-8 win over the Souths Logan Magpies at the National Football Stadium.
Hooker Wartovo Puara shifts into the No.6 jersey as coach Michael Marum looks to keep his side’s attacking thrust as they host the last-placed Tweed Heads, who are coming off a 46-8 loss to the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
Marum admitted the loss of his chief play-maker and leader was a blow but he was confident Puara would do the job for him as he had already played first receiver for a period of last week’s match.
“Wats can play at five-eighth, he’s played there before so we should be okay covering up for Ase,” Marum said.
Marum admitted the loss of his chief play-maker and leader was a blow but he was confident Puara would do the job for him as he had already played first receiver for a period of last week’s match.
“Warts can play at five-eighth, his played there before so we should be okay covering up for Ase,” Marum said.
Boas’ standing on the leading point-scorers table will be affected by his absence with the 28-year-old in joint first place on 132 points with Carlin Anderson (Townsville Blackhawks) while Guy Hamilton (Sunshine Coast Falcons) is next on 131 points.
Magpies fullback Jamayne Isaako is further back on 124 points.
Vice-captain Wellington Albert will lead the side while centre Israel Alib assume the kicking duties.
Albert’s place in the side was still unclear with the prop yet to receive word on his citing for a dangerous throw from the QRL judiciary.
Marum said he expected Albert to be cleared but was ready to name a replacement off his extended bench if the need arose.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Muka Peter Kulu will make his debut off the bench as Hunters player No. 53.
The Simbu man, who has been playing for the Port Moresby Vipers in the Digicel Cup, will add size to the team being over 180cm tall and weighing in excess of 100kg.
“He has been consistent with the Vipers in the Digicel Cup so I think it’s a good time for him to get some experience at this level,” Marum said.
“Muka has travelled with us a couple of times as the 18th man so he’ll have no problems settling in.”
Marum despite the poor form of their opponents, his side would not be taking the game lightly as they look to consolidate their No.1 spot with a good win.
The NSW-based side can still claim the biggest winning margin over the Hunters since their entry into the Q-Cup four years ago – they beat Marum’s side 60-28 at the Piggabeen Sports Complex in round 19 in 2014.
Since then the Hunters have held the upperhand in clashes between the two sides winning five from six games with their 40-10 drubbing of the Seagulls in round 17 last year their biggest win.
The Seagulls have only won three of 14 matches so far in 2017 and are favourites from the wooden spoon.
The Seagulls arrive in Port Moresby today.
The game kicks off at 5pm and will be live on TVWAN.
Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean, 2. Bland Abavu, 3. Israel Eliab, 4. Adex Wera, 5. Paul Wawa, 6. Wartovo Puara Junior, 7. Watson Boas, 8. Wellington Albert (c), 9. Gahuna Silas, 10. Esau Siune, 11. Nixon Put, 12. David Loko, 13. Stanton Albert; Reserves: 14. Lawrence Tu’u, 15. Willie Minoga, 16. Enock Maki, 17. Muka Peter Kulu, 18. Brandy Peter.

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