By ISAAC LIRI
IT may be a trial match but the Brisbane Broncos will not be underestimating the SP PNG Hunters at home.
The National Rugby League club take on the reigning Queensland Cup champions and Broncos assistant coach Jason Demetriou knows better than to take the Hunters lightly, especially on their home turf. Demetriou believes that with the NRL season next month, there is no better preparation than to play a trial against a rugged and enthusiastic Hunters side.
“NRL season is starting and it’s good to come up here to play the PNG Hunters,” Demetriou said.
“It’s going to be tough game, they’re the Q-Cup champions and they’ll be excited to play us and it’ll be a good game to tests us before the NRL season.”
Despite not fielding new recruit Jack Bird and captain Darius Boyd, the Broncos can still call on Origin level talent in Anthony Milford albeit off the bench, but with the unlimited interchange, it makes no difference where the Samoan starts.
The Broncos have been happy to keep Kodi Nikorima in the No.7 jersey as they look for a replacement for Ben Hunt and the New Zealander’s running game will be a constant threat to the Hunters defence.
Broncos captain Alex Glenn admitted that he was expecting nothing less than a tough and physical game against the home side.
“I know it’s going to be physical game,” Glenn said.
“I played for Cook Islands against the Kumuls last year and they were very physical.
“It’s not going to be easy and they are the Q-Cup champions so it’s going to be a great hit out for both teams heading into their seasons.”
Glenn said he was expecting the atmosphere at the NFS to be intense and an experience to remember.
“We’ve prepared well for this game. We don’t want to come here thinking it’s going to be an easy ride, we want to get through the 80 minutes and get the result.”
Meanwhile, Hunters coach Michael Marum said his side was honoured to be playing an NRL side and he was expecting his men to rise to the occasion.
“We’re familiar with the Broncos as a team and club, and we actually look up to them so playing them is a big honour,’ Marum said.
“We’ve known about this match since last year’s finals so everybody has been looking forward to this game.”