hunters

Marum wary of ambush

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THE PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum has named a strong line up for the final  round of the Q-Cup on Sunday against the Tweed Head Seagulls.
With the minor premiership in the bag, Marum admitted that he was tempted to rest his key men and give them the extra week off but said it was important for the side to maintain their form, for players to compete for spots and to avoid any more surprises.
“The last time we decided to rest our key players like Ase Boas we lost to Tweed Heads so I think we’ve learned from that and we will go with our best,” he said.
The Hunters have a score to settle with Tweed Heads at Piggabeen Sports Oval on Sunday after losing 14-10 to the NSW team in round 14 in Port Moresby.
But they may have to do it without lock forward Stanton Albert , pictured,who was binned and cited for striking a Seagulls player in their 28-22 win last Sunday.
Marum said the club expected a ruling today from the QRL judiciary.
“Stanton was cited and we’ve entered an early guilty plea and we’re waiting for a ruling,” Marum said.
“What he did is not acceptable and you can’t afford to react with violence.”
Marum said the Hunters management had a strict policy on violence and fighting in games and he was proud that the club’s record had been clean over the four years.
Marum said he was confident that Albert would be available to play in the finals and added that 21-year-old regreted lashing out at the Wynnum player.
Standing by to take Albert’s spot is Moses Meninga has been promoted from the bench and will take his place in the lock forward position.
“Moses had a good start this season along with Nixon Put. He’s been an impact player off the bench,” Marum said.
“He’s going to start at lock and this is going to be his chance to cement his position there if he plays well.  Stanton will be available after next weekend but the best team will be selected for the finals so Moses will have to prove himself,” Marum said.
The team this week will also welcome back prop Esau Siune who has recovered from a knee injury which sidelined for three weeks.
Back-rower David Loko, who injured a knee against Wynnum sits out the Tweed Heads match but Marum said the former Kumul enforcer would be needed for the finals campaign.
Utility back Adex Wera on the other hand has earned a spot in the starting side after coming off the bench last week and sitting out the previous week due to a back injury.
“I think Willie Minoga has been doing a lot for us in the centres and this weekend he’ll get a run in the pack.
“There’s a concern about Adex in the centres especially on defence when he rushes out. Other teams have probably picked that up but he’s worked on that.”
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 (VC) 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Willie Minoga 12. Nixon Put 13. Moses Meninga; Reserves: 14. Paul Wawa 15. Rhadley Brawa 16. Brandy Peter 17. Enock Maki 18. Karo Kauna Jr 19. Gahuna Silas 20. Muka Peter Kulu.

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