Church urges his charges to play with energy this season


UPNG journalism student
THE South Pacific Brewery-backed Hunters will need to play with the same energy that won them the 2017 Intrust Super Cup double, says coach Matthew Church.
“One thing that did strike me when the Hunters first came into the competition was that they were really energetic,” he said at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby last week.
“If they score a try, they run back to the halfway as a group and that sends a message to the opposition.”
Church said he wanted to see a similar intensity in his squad heading in their upcoming campaign, which kicks off against the Souths Logan Mapgies in Brisbane on March 15.
“We’re going to make an impression on them (opposition) mentally when we do that and hopefully on the score board as well,” he said.
The Australian, who took over from founding coach Michael Marum in November, said he had yet to analyse the statistics of the players from last season.
“I have my own mindset of how I want to play and how I feel we can utilise the skills that we have,” Church said.
“We’re pretty quick so being able to play into spaces is something that I’ve been looking at.
“But I’ll definitely look at the statistics. Not just our statistics but those of last season’s top-four teams to see where we were actually strong.
“I’m keen on how many support efforts we put in on the field, just things that people don’t necessarily notice.
“So we’ll look into those statistics and make some of our own to suit how we’re going to play.”
Church said there was a lot that the squad could pick up from the foundation Hunters players, especially how they used their aggressiveness and energy.

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