Hunters set tentative return


THE SP Hunters are scheduled to return to training on April 14 with Queensland Rugby League’s tentative plans to resume the Intrust Super Cup (ISC) season on June 5, Hunters coach Matthew Church says.
He told The National that the South Pacific Brewery-sponsored side had been advised that no group larger than 10 players and coaching staff could participate in training.
“All ISC clubs and facilities are on lockdown until Tuesday, April 14,” Church said amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
“This date is tentatively set as a soft return to training with no more than 10 people training together.
“The plan at this stage is to return to full training on April 27, should we get the go-ahead from all relevant authorities.” Church said should the competition resume on June 5, all teams would play 12 matches each prior to the top-six playoffs. The round-one results, which the Hunters won 32-30 over Souths Logan, will stand.
“The revised draw will allow us to play each team once and therefore, create an even competition. It is obviously the fairest way to proceed in these circumstances,” he said.
Church said it was a difficult time for people around the world who were feeling the strain of the pandemic and that PNG was also facing uncertainty. However, he said it was too early to tell how the current situation would impact the Hunters.
“What I do know is that there is going to be challenges ahead,” the Australian rookie head coach said.
“It’s going to require patience and clear leadership to navigate through these uncharted waters.
“We also need to show that we care for our players and staff, and support them through this difficult time. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of families and people in our communities.”

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