Hunters claim first win


THE SP PNG Hunters came out firing against the Central Queensland Capras on Saturday, determined to get their first win of the Intrust Super Cup season.
The fire and the passion paid off, with the Hunters finishing 28-10 victors in their Round 6 fixture at Allan McIndoe Park in Emerald, Queensland.
Hooker Woods Kawage, pictured, offered the perfect foil for five-eighth Ase Boas as the pair combined to lead the Hunters to a five tries to two win over the Capras.
Kawage, who had one try assist, was a constant threat out of dummy-half mixing good service to his runners as well as picking his moments to run.
The win not only got the Hunters off the bottom of the ladder — they are third last — but paid back the Capras for last year’s final round loss which cost coach Michael Marum’s side a spot in the finals.
Marum said he was very pleased with his team’s efforts.
“We worked really hard in that first half,” Marum said.
“In the second half we had a lot of possession, but in the early part of the second half, around the 20-minute mark, we just kept dropping the ball… but good to see the boys get a win.
“It was a good win away — it’s our first for the season, so hopefully more to come.”
The Capras’ 500th Intrust Super Cup game was quite the spectacle; there was a massive crowd, including a big Papua New Guinea contingent proudly waving signs and flags, fire, sparklers and a drone even dropped the ball off before kick-off.
The Capras’ mascot Col the ram was also working the crowd and the atmosphere was electric.
Marum said he was pleased with the young guns in his team; and with playmaker Boas, captain Moses Meninga and Brendon Gotuno on the edge.
The nippy Gotuno crossed the white line just 10 minutes into the game, to put the Hunters up 4-0, and the team did not ease up from that moment.
Capras responded six minutes later, with five-eighth Maipele Morseu scoring and wing BJ Aufaga-Toomaga converting.
Hunters hard-running lock Junior Rop and centre Bland Abavu both scored tries before half time; and Boas converted both to bring the half time score to 16-6.
Capras’ Kainoa Gudgeon was first to cross the white line in the second half in the 63rd minute, closing the gap to 16-10; Aufaga-Toomaga missed the conversion.
Reserve half Charlie Simon was subbed on by Marum in 65th minute, and made an impact, scoring for the away side; Boas converted to bring the score to 22-10.
Hunters captain Meninga crossed with four minutes to go, and Boas converted, to seal the win; as Capras’ commentator Cameron Stallard said “they came, they hunted and they got the two points”.
Hunters face Ipswich Jets in Round 7 on Saturday.
“We have a tough one at home now against the Jets,” Marum said, hopeful his team could back up with another win.
“We just take one game at a time.
“I think we’ve had a fair bit of disappointment in our games, back at home too — we haven’t won at home this year, so looking forward to a good game at home come Saturday.”
CQ Capras 10 (Maipele Morseu, Kainoa Gudgeon tries; BJ Aufaga-Toomaga con) PNG Hunters 28 (Brendon Gotuno, Junior Rop, Bland Abavu, Charlie Simon, Moses Meninga tries; Ase Boas 4 con)
Results: Round 6 – Sat, April 13: Sunshine Coast Falcons 30 Easts Tigers 6, Burleigh Bears 26 Wynnum Manly Seagulls 18, Townsville Blackhawks 36 Redcliffe Dolphin 6, Northern Pride 12 Souths Logan Magpies 16, Mackay Cutters 12 Tweed Heads 16, CQ Capras 10 PNG Hunters 28; Sun, April 14: Ipswich Jets 14 Norths Devils 31. – QRL

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