By ISAAC LIRI
THE SP PNG Hunters will still be without captain and five-eighth Ase Boas for their round 14 Q-Cup match against the Mackay Cutters on Sunday.
In spite of this assistant coach Nigel Hukula said the Boas’ continuous absence (this is his third game out) from the roster was not a setback but an opportunity for other players to step into the breach and produce the goods in the No.6 jersey.
“Ase is a talented person and a leader in the team, it’s a notable omission for us but it’s also an opportunity for other players to take the lead,” Hukula said.
“I don’t really see his absence as a setback but as an opportunity for players within our playing group to take the responsibility.
“Wartovo Puara is the fill-in captain and has done well; we’ve also got young blokes like Ila Alu showing their leadership qualities and Stanton Albert as well, so I think everyone’s filling that void well.
“I can’t pin point any particular individual in our team but I think they’re all stepping up their effort.
“We also want to encourage the players in our team to take responsibility in directing our team around.
“I think over that period of time we’ve seen that they can fill that void, so it’s a good experience.
“With dengue fever we understand that Ase needs a lot of rest and we are anticipating probably another week or two before he can get back to full training.
“From the point where he is fit and can actually hit the field is another thing which we will have to look at as well when he recovers,” Hukula added. Meanwhile other changes sees winger Butler Morris omitted with a right ankle injury with Brendon Gotuno coming in.
Edene Gabbie makes his return from injury (right ankle) on the bench along with incumbent PNG Kumul prop Moses Meninga on the extended bench.
“Moses (Meninga) has been named as part of the extended bench and we’ll have a look at him during the course of the week.
“He’s strapped well and he’s put in a lot of effort in his recovery and I think he’s well ahead of schedule but we also want to make sure he’s 100 per cent when he runs out,” Hukula said.
Forwards Alu and Dilbert Isaac make way for Albert and McKenzie Yei, who were promoted from the bench to the starting line-up adding a more size and height.
Hunters: 1. Adex Wera 2. Junior Rau 3. Thompson Teteh 4. Willie Minoga 5. Brendon Gotuno 6. Charlie Simon 7. Watson Boas 8. Enoch Maki 9. Wartovo Puara Jr 10. Stanton Albert 11. Nixon Put 12. McKenzie Yei 13. Rhadley Brawa; Interchange: 14 Patrick Morea 15. Ila Alu 16. Dilbert Isaac 17 Edene Gabbie 18. Moses Meninga 19.William Mone.
By ISAAC LIRI