Hunters make no excuses

Sports

SP PNG Hunters coach Michael  Marum sa ys despite his side’s struggles tofind form over the opening six roundsof the Q-Cup they were not makingexcuses and would be looking to regainsome momentum with a win overthe Souths Logan Magpies on Sunday.
The roun d 7 fixture will se e the 10 thplacedHunters host top three sidethe Magpies at the National FootballStadium.
The Hunters have had their wo rstst ar t  to a  season so far with a 2-4 record(all losses were on the road) but willbe buoyed by the fact that they havea great home record being unbeatenin their last six home games
Marum, pictured, admitted that the loss of several key players over the pre-season and having many players new to the Q-Cup level was a factor in their performance so far but he refused to use it as an excuse for the defending premiers instead putting the onus back on his side to find form and get their title defence back on track.
“I know that a lot of people talking about our performance lately but last year is gone and this year is a new year with different challenges we face,” Marum said.
“Players like Bland Abavu, Brandy Peter and Israel Eliab have been in contact with me, but if they want to return they have to prove their fitness in the Digicel Cup.
“They requested to focus on other employment opportunities and other commitments and that was their choice and we cannot force them to come back.
“If they want to come back then they know about the procedures,” he added..
“We must also understand that our young boys in the team are our future in rugby league.
“We are doing all we can to build them up, that is the purpose of the Hunters programme.
“They are good players and they can do it when they start believing in themselves.
“We don’t want to put pressure on them and be patient, give them some time.”
As for the team named on Tuesday, Marum said likely changes would be done today.
He said his core group of experienced players were ready to prove their critics wrong and get the side back into the form that had fans filling up the National Football Stadium for home games.
Captain Ase Boas, prop Enoch Maki and back-rower Willie Minoga will be expected to lead from the front in a must-win fixture for the side who will have two more away games punctuated by a bye before their next home fixture — by then a third of the third would be completed.
Hunters: 1. Edene Gabbie 2. Junior Rau 3. Paul Wawa 4. Butler Morris 5. Junior Bobby 6. Ase Boas (c) 7. Watson Boas 8. Enoch Maki 9. Charlie Simon 10. Baundo Aba 11. Nixon Put 12. Willie Minoga 13. Rhadley Brawa; Reserves: 14. Gahuna Silas 15. McKenzie Yei 16. Patrick Morea 18. Ila Alu 19. Dilbert Isaac 20. Brendan Gotuno 21. Wartovo Puara Jr.
Rd 7 Fixtures: Sat, April 21 – WM Seagulls v Bears, Falcons v Jets, Cutters v Dolphins, CQ Capras v Pride; Sun, April 22 – TH Seagulls v Tigers, Hunters v Magpies, Blackhawks v Devils.

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