THE PNG Hunters’ 20-12 loss to South Logan Magpies was sad and disappointing.
A referee ruling against Hunters Paul Wawa’s try proved costly for the Hunters.
From the outset, as a spectator, let me air the following comments shared by fans and critics.
It’s sad to see five players of small physical stature – Charlie Simon, Wartovo Laura Jr, Silas Gahuna, Patrick Morea and Bradley Brawa – on the field within the same time frame, facing larger Magpies forward.
The Magpies forwards created havoc in the middle.
Too much firepower and the Hunters’ light forwards could not match the spirited Magpies.
The game strategy misfired but moving forward, let’s have size and mobility in the forwards and on the bench.
A potentials player to include in Hunters is Joe Joshua from Lae Snax Tigers.
This guy is still young and represented PNG Prime Minister’s 13 in 2017.
He plays fullback but also fits in well on the wing and centres.
He is as tall and big as some backrowers in the Tigers and Hunters teams.
What makes him an in-form player in the competition is his attacking and defensive prowess.
His positional play, defensive read and ball handling skills are of high standard compared to some current Hunters backs.
Joe Joshua deserves to be in the Hunters.
Stragroth Amean’s retirement and injuries to Adex Wera and Eden Gabby, and centre positions becoming untraditional makeshift position for wingers – who seems to struggle to find form – has created a void to be filled.
With respect to current players in the Hunters, the team need a livewire like Joe Joshua and Israel Eliab.
It was also very disappointing that key players took the field with injuries on game day against Magpies.
Why take the field, as they became the weakest link in the defensive line?
A further aggravation of injuries is a major setback for the side in the long term.
Experienced Digicel cup players and ex Hunters like Mark Mexico, Israel Eliab, Blend Abavu, Tuvi Lepan, Edward Goma, and Thomson Tete are in Digicel sides.
Their inclusion in the Hunters camp would be a moral and confidence booster.
Coaching staff: Please stop proclaiming that 2018 Hunters is the team to beat. Almost 50 per cent of the 2017 champion Hunters’ team is gone.
That is why the 2018 Hunters are such easy beats.
Hunters’ coaching stuff need new sets of offensive and defensive strategies as the current ones used have not produced results.
Bring back the offloads into Hunters’ game. The 2017 games witnessed great Hunters’ offloads that allowed them to tower over opponents.
Great offloads from Willie Minogue, Wellington and Stanton Albert, David Loko, Brandy Peter and Israel Eliab produced the goods.
If this offload strategy proved effective in 2017, let’s use players or get players who have the fitness, height advantage and good offload skills sets to spark a cohesive and potent hunt in 2018.
Back to you Hunters coaching staff.
Hunters Tok Stret