Hunters fall to wily Jets


THE SP PNG Hunters languish in second to last spot on the Intrust Super Cup standings after Saturday’s 28-10 loss to the Ipswich Jets.
The Round 7 clash at the National Football Stadium was supposed to be a chance for the Hunters to get their season back on track but instead the Jets’ unconventional and maddening style saw them outscore the home side five tries to two.
Rugged winger Peter Gubb scored a brace of tries, one in each half, and five-eighth Josh Cleeland kicked three conversions and penalty to secure his side their third win of the season.
Centre Brandon Nima, pictured, (11th minute) and hooker Woods Kawage (51st) scored tries for the Hunters but the hosts never looked like threatening the lead despite several passages.
The Jets took a 16-4 lead to halftime and were the first to score in the second stanza firstly off the boot of Cleeland — through a 44th minute penalty after reserve Gairo Kapana infringed in consecutive plays —before Gubb grabbed his second four-pointer thanks to some smart work down a short side by fullback Jayden Connors. The Hunters struggled to rein in the Jets cross field runners while butchering their own scoring opportunities with wing Brandon Gotuno having the ball jolted loose over the try line after running 55m and Bland Abavu’s double movement call.
Hunters No.6 Ase Boas got little support from the misfiring Jerry Teme and the halfback was yanked by Marum in the 34th minute after back-to-back errors and a subpar performance. Referee Jacob Whitehead cautioned captain Moses Meninga for dissent as the Hunters’ frustrations increased at their inability to mount a comeback.
The Hunters play again on Thursday in their Round 8 fixture against the Burleigh Bears in the annual Kokoda Cup clash on ANZAC Day at Pizzey Park.
PNG Hunters 10 (Brandon Nima, Woods Kawage tries; Ase Boas con) Ipswich Jets 28 (Peter Gubb 2, Josh Seage, Rogan Dean, Jayden Connors tries; Josh Cleeland 3 con, pen)
Results: Rd 7 – Thurs, April 18: Mackay Cutters 10 Burleigh Bears 24, Northern Pride 18 Wynnum Manly Seagulls 26, Easts Tigers 28 Souths Logan Magpies 20, Central Queensland Capras 6 Sunshine Coast Falcons 52; Sat April 20: SP Hunters 10 Ipswich Jets 28, Norths Devils 22 Townsville Blackhawks 10; Sun, April 21: Redcliffe Dolphins 26 Tweed Heads Seagulls 6.

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