By MELTON PAIS
THE tallest Hunter on the paddock is expected to feature prominently in his side’s Round 19 fixture against Redcliffe Dolphins on Sunday at Dolphin Oval in Brisbane.
Bland Abavu, of Central (Koiari) and Northern parentage, has become a reliable man in the back for Michael Marum since shifting to the custodial role in Round 13 against the Northern Pride.
The 195cm tall No.1 has been strong in kick returns and has shown great positional awareness as welll as a willingness to do some work in the front line.
Abavu, who who has been used as a winger since being drafted by the Hunters last year, has garbbed his opportunity at fullback after regular Stargroth Amean was injured in Round 12.
The 26-year-old comes from a league playing family with brother Josiah Abavu having played for the Kumuls in the 2013 World Cup.
Another brother Anthony Abavu has also played in the Digicel Cup.
To date Abavu’s only representative expereince was at the 2015 Pacific Games where he hgelped PNG win the nines gold .
Abavu’s association with the sport started as a 17-year-old playing for the Dobo Warriors Under-19 team in the Port Moresby Rugby League.
It wasn’t long before Abavu was promted to the senior ranks with his combination of height and coolness under pressure giving him an edge over most opponents.
He got his Digicel Cup start playing for the Kemele Hela Wigmen and is still attached to them.
Abavu is raring to go on Sunday in what is expecting to be a tester for the Hunters top two hopes.
Abavu form of late has been good. He scored a brace and defended admirably in the Hunters’ 40-10 hammering of the Tweed Heads Seagulls in Round 17.
Abavu said he was keen on maintain his form.
“I had some good games but I’m just thankful Michael has given me this chance,” Abavu said.
I get a lot of help from the Hunters staff on how to play the position and it’s really been helpful.”
By MELTON PAIS