By ISAAC LIRI
PNG Hunters centre Adex Wera faces off with former teammate and good friend Thompson Teteh in Sunday’s round 21 Q-Cup clash against the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Wera, who returned from a rib injury last week, is one of the Hunters senior men in the backline and coach Michael Marum will be counting on his attacking ability while hoping he can shut down former Hunter Teteh, who has been solid for the Dolphins side all season.
The former Goroka Lahanis teammates have come a long way since starting out for the Eastern Highlands team in 2009.
Both are capable of breaking the line and are reliable finishers with good speed, but Wera is perhaps the more slippery customer while Teteh has developed into a sound three-quarter.
Marum has used Wera on the wing and at centre over the course of the season but the only flaw in the 27-year-old’s game has been his defensive reads which the Dolphins halves and Teteh are expected to test.
Wera, who has scored 10 tries so far this season, had his best moment in round 8 against the Burleigh Bears while wearing the No.4 jersey when he scored a club record-equalling four tries.
Teteh has seven tries to his name but the work he does on defence and the number of carries and metres made has ensured the 28-year-old is one the first picked by coach Adam Mogg. “We’ve talked to Adex about his defence and the decisions he makes and we’re confident in his ability because he is an experienced player,” Marum said.
“We moved Adex to the centres because Willie Minoga is in the pack because he’s also been a little inconsistent at centre as well but these aren’t permanent changes.
“We’ll continue to shuffle players around to where we think they can contribute the most.”
With the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in October, both speed man, who have already played for PNG, would be out to remind selectors of their value.
“Adex and Thompson are good players and I know Adex will do his best for us and Thompson will do the same for the Dolphins and the match-up will be good to see.”
The last time both sides met in round seven, the Hunters edged the Dolphins 12-10 at the National Football Stadium with Wera crossing for a double.
With revenge on the agenda for the Dolphins, Marum said his side had performed well on the road in 2017 and Sunday’s match would be another contest his men would relish.
“We know they’ll be hard to beat at home. But we need to win our games as well so we will go down there, concentrate on our game plan and hope for a positive result,” Marum said.
Rd 21 fixtures: Sat, July 30 – Jets v Pride, Bears v Blackhawks, Capras v Falcons; Sun, July 31 – Dolphins v Hunters, WM Seagulls v Tigers. Bye: Cutters, Magpies, TH Seagulls, Devils.
By ISAAC LIRI