Gotuno gets chance to impress, Amean back


TWENTY-two-year-old Brendon Gotuno will make his debut for the SP PNG Hunters in their round 3 Queensland Cup match against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.
He comes onto the wing replacing Butler Morris.
The match is labelled a replay of last year’s grand final — which the Hunters won 12-10 to clinch their maiden premiership — and Gutono, who converted from AFL two years ago, said he was honoured to be given an opportunity in the Q-Cup.
The young man of mixed Chimbu and East New Britain parentage debuts on the wing as Hunters player No.60.
“I think this is a good opportunity for me to prove myself,” Gotuno said.
“There are a lot of good players in the squad and I have to make the most of my chance.
“I think it’s going to be special to finally play for the Hunters and I’m dedicating my debut to my family.
“Playing in the trial against Broncos showed me what to expect at this level and I get to show what I have and all the training and learning I’ve down over the pre-season.”
Gotuno, who will graduate with a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of PNG this year, has also represented the country in Australian rules football.
Coach Michael Marum spoke of Gotuno’s AFL background as a plus with his ability under the high ball.
“Brendon is a smart and skilful player,” Marum said.
“He played well during the trial against the Broncos and now he’s got his chance.
“We’re confident he won’t let us down,” Marum said.
Regular fullback Stargroth Amean returns to the No.1 jersey after coming off the bench last week while Adex Wera shifts to the centres pushing back-rower Nixon Put back to the pack.
Willie Minoga stays in the centres.
On the injury front, Adam Korave, who was concussed last week against Northern Pride, and is not cleared to play is replaced by Rhadley Brawa at lock.
Prop Enoch Maki is expected to return in round 5 with Moses Meninga, Dilbert Isaac and McKenzie Yei in a three-pronged prop rotation.
Five-eighth William Mone, centre Junior Rau and back-rower Patrick Morea were also included on the extended bench alongside dummy-half Gahuna Silas.
The final 18-man travelling squad will be named on Friday and the team leaves for Brisbane the following day.
Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Wawa Paul 3. Adex Wera 4. Willie Minoga 5. Brendon Gotuno 6. Ase Boas 7. Watson Boas (c) 8. Moses Meninga 9. Wartovo Puara Junior 10. Dilbert Isaac 11. Nixon Put 12. John Andy 13. Rhadley Brawa; Reserves: 14. Charlie Simon 15. Ila Alu 16. Gahuna Silas 17. McKenzie Yei 18. William Mone 19. Junior Rau 20. Patrick Morea.

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