Skipper Meninga provides shining light in poor Q-Cup campaign
THE South Pacific Brewery-backed Hunters were in a rebuilding phase for the Queensland Intrust Super Cup (ISC) season after losing several key players to overseas clubs.
The Hunters lost star players in Stargroth Amean, Wartovo Puara (Barrow Raiders), Watson Boas (Featherstone Rovers), Rhadley Brawa, Edene Gebbie (Wynnum Manly) and Nixon Putt (Norths Devils).
The loss of these players provided an opening for others to step up and the most consistent performer this season was skipper Moses Meninga.
Meninga led his side from the front and was often the standout performer for the PNG side.
For his form, the forward voted the Hunters’ players’ player after averaging 107m per game and making 553 tackles all season.
The Hunters recorded only four wins, one draw and 18 losses, with a total of 750 points conceded and only managing to score 315 points this season.
The Michael Marum-coached side finished with the worst attack and the second worst defence in the 14-team competition.
The Hunters, who finished 7th last year, ended the season in 13th spot – one spot above wooden spooners Central Queensland Capras. But despite the gloom surrounding their statistics this season, veteran Ase Boas reached a milestone as the Hunters’ highest point-scorer (500).
Former Rabaul Gurias playmaker Boas and teammate Adex Wera capped 100 ISC games this season. Meninga and fellow forward Stanton Albert reached 50 games each this season.
On the home front, the Oil Search National Football Stadium witnessed only two wins and nines losses for the Hunters with an 18 per cent winning record compared with last season where they had won 83 per cent of their games.
The Hunters have unveiled some exciting young talent in the form of Terry Wapi, Kevin Appo and Nick Hasu.
If the Hunters are able to recruit some experience during the offseason, they will put themselves in a good position to build into next season with a new head coach at the helm.