By ISAAC LIRI
AN in-house issue between the Hunters coaching staff and some players has affected preparations for Saturday’s round 22 Q-Cup match against the Ipswich Jets.
The issue arose after some players petitioned the Hunters management with their concerns which included what they claimed was their continuous abuse and disrespect by the coaching staff.
Hunters coach Michael Marum , pictured, described the claims as childish and unnecessary.
“The players handed in a petition to the coaching staff on Tuesday. The things they addressed were to do with their treatment by me and my assistants but really there was no excuse for this,” Marum said yesterday at the squad’s first training since returning from Brisbane.
Marum said the players had let their egos get the better of them and that they had lost sight of what they were at.
“They said they don’t want to train hard and stuff like that and we have to respect what they’re saying but at the end of the day they need to understand that we are playing in a bigger competition and we cannot take things for granted.
“In the Hunters we have standards we have to maintain and we cannot allow all the hard work to go down the drain after four years.
“We’ve done so well this year to be where we are so I don’t see any reason to throw all that hard work away.
“We are getting to the back end of the season and we need to be switched on in every game and do away with all the attitude problems and acting like kids.
“There are some leaders in the group that led the petition they’ve been identified and the management will take proper steps to deal with them even if it means getting rid of them which will really affect the team but it can’t be helped.
“We missed out on our recovery session, our video session and our Tuesday training run which was disappointing and frustrating for me but that was what the players wanted so if they can get their heads together before the game than it would be good to see,” Marum said.
No changes have been done yet to the 24-man extended team that was named on Tuesday and submitted to the QRL however, Marum said there would be changes made and the final 17 would be announced on Friday.
“There are a lot of issues we need to sort out before we get the team named and it will depend on how they conduct themselves in the last two days,” Marum said.
In the meantime, prop Esau Siune (knee) and versatile back Adex Wera (sore back) are suffering from injuries from their 28-12 loss to the Redcliffe Dolphins and are currently undergoing treatment.
Former Hunters forward Timothy Lomai, who was named in the starting line-up is also nursing a shoulder injury which he picked up while playing in the Digicel Cup.
“We brought Timothy (Lomai) back but he failed the medical so that is unfortunate for him but we hope he recovers so we can use him in our remaining games,” Marum said.
This Saturday’s game against the Jets will also see selectors from the four regions coming in to draw up a 40-man squad that will be named for the upcoming Prime Minister’s 13 and the Tri-Series fixtures next month and in October.
By ISAAC LIRI