Heat on halves

Sports

SP PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum has challenged his team, particularly his halves pairing of Ase and Watson Boas, to execute their game plan better as they take on the Sunshine Coast Falcons this weekend in round 3 of the Q-Cup.
Marum was critical of Boas brothers’ performance last week against the Northern Pride, saying while the team had a fair amount of ball it was what they did with it that was problematic.
“We performed reasonably well against the Pride with our defence holding up and our error rate down but even though we had enough ball we just didn’t execute,” Marum said of his side’s effort in their 26-14 loss at Barlow Park.
“We had enough ball to convert to points but Watson and Ase couldn’t get our backline going. We have to play smarter socially on attack and our execution has to be better.
“I pointed the finger at the Boas boys telling them to do something or get the kick. They know what they have to do. It’s straight forward.”
Marum said Sunday’s round 3 Q-Cup fixture dubbed the grand final replay at the Sunshine Coast Stadium would be big for the hosts whom the Hunters dramatically beat 12-10 in the premiership decider at Suncorp Stadium.
“I guess it’s an important game for both sides. While we’re still working on our combinations and looking to improve from last week and get into the top six, the Falcons will want to get one back over us especially for last year’s grand final result.”
Marum said his side would have to block out the hype and focus on getting the win.
“Every game counts. We’re treating everything seriously. We’ve got no more excuses. We’re into the third round. These aren’t trial matches. Winning is the priority.”
The Hunters record against the Melbourne Storm feeder club has been impressive since their inception in 2014 – they have won seven of their nine fixtures against the Falcons.
AFL convert Brendon Gotuno makes his Q-Cup debut on the wing for the Hunters replacing Butler Morris while fullback Stargroth Amean is a welcomed return to fullback strengthening the spine of the Boas brothers and hooker Wartovo Puara Jr expected to lift for the clash.
Marum said he would stick with the first 18 picked on Tuesday with Junior Rau and Patrick Morea to drop out of the 20-man squad.
The side fly to Brisbane tomorrow before busing it down to the Sunshine Coast for the Sunday afternoon’s game.
Round 3 Fixtures: Sat, March 24 – Tweed Heads Seagulls v Burleigh Bears, Easts Tigers v Ipswich Jets, Townsville Blackhawks v Northern Pride, Mackay Cutters v Central Queensland Capras; Sun, March 25 – Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Redcliffe Dolphins, Souths Logan Magpies v Norths Devils, Sunshine Coast Falcons v PNG Hunters.

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