minoga

Marum beefs up pack

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WILLIE Minoga moves to the back-row for the PNG Hunters in one of four positional changes for Sunday’s match against the Redcliffe Dolphins.
The Wapenamanda native shifts from the centres to beef up the pack after David Loko copped a one-match ban for a dangerous throw in last Sunday’s 22-22 draw with the Mackay Cutters at the NFS.
Diminutive tackling machine Rhadley Brawa drops back to the bench to accommodate Minoga.
Hunters pack leader Wellington Albert returns to his spot in the front-row with brother Stanton shifting back to lock.
Albert, who sat out the last round with a bout of food poisoning, was given a clean bill of health by medical staff and will be needed to impose himself in what will be a top-of-the-table clash.
The Hunters lead the competition on 33 points four clear of the Sunshine Coast Falcons (29) but face an in-form Redcliffe side at Dolphin Oval.
The fourth-placed Dolphins (28 points), who beat the CQ Capras 42-6 last Saturday, would be out to exact revenge for their 12-10 loss to the Hunters back in round 7.
In the other changes, Butler Morris gets his first run-on start since round 3 at the expense of winger Wawa Paul while Adex Wera stays in the centres after transitioning from the wing mid-game against the Cutters.
Interestingly, Wera’s defensive game will be tested by former teammate Thompson Teteh as the pair line up against each other for the round 21 fixture.
Second-rower Brawa and Paul have both been included on the extended bench but will only be used if one of the 17 drops out. Hunters assistant coach Nigel Hukula said last week’s draw with the Cutters was disappointing but the side was not hitting the panic button yet in terms of their confidence or game plans.
He attributed the result to a loss of concentration in the final 10 minutes of the game.
“We didn’t do ourselves any favours by not competing in those final 10 minutes against the Cutters. That was disappointing and we’re aware of and addressing this week,” Hukula said.
“Our mental attitude and game management wasn’t spot on and we need to improve for the next game.”
The final 18-man team travels to Brisbane on Saturday for the 1.40pm game on Sunday.
The match will be televised ‘live’ on Channel 9 throughout Australia and TV Wan in PNG.
The Hunters return to Port Moresby on Monday.
Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean, 2. Bland Abavu, 3. Israel Eliab, 4. Adex Wera, 5. Butler Morris, 6. Ase Boas (C), 7. Watson Boas, 8. Wellington Albert, 9. Wartovo Puara Jr, 10. Esau Siune, 11. Willie Minoga, 12. Nixon Put, 13. Stanton Albert; Reserves: 14. Gahuna Silas, 15. Enoch Maki, 16. Brandy Peter, 17. Moses Meninga, 18. Karo Kauna Jr, 19. Wawa Paul, 20. Rhadley Brawa

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