Hunters thump Wynnum


A TWO-try effort by fullback Edene Gabbie against Wynnum Manly helped the SP PNG Hunters stay in the Q-Cup top six with one game left in the regular season.
The Hunters overwhelmed the visiting Seagulls 40-16 in their round 23 clash – their last home game of the season – to stay in sixth spot (on 28 points), outscoring the opposition eight tries to three in front of 12,000 fans at the Oil Search National Football Stadium yesterday.
Hunters coach Michael Marum had to make changes to the line-up with centre Thompson Teteh dropped from the side for disciplinary reasons while halfback Watson Boas was relegated to the bench with Charlie Simon starting.
“We had a good first half, a good result, a good win and I couldn’t ask for more. I’ll be happy if we finish sixth,” Marum said.
“Our halves executed well and Edene provided good support too.”
Gabbie’s effort came off a tough week where the 23-year old battled a right ankle injury as well as a family bereavement.
He got his first four pointer 10 minutes after hooker Wartovo Puara Jr opening the scoring with the first try in the opening minute.
The Hunters shoot out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter dominating the exchanges and kept on a roll to the delight of the crowd with centre Adex Wera selling a dummy close to the Wynnum line before cutting back in to post his side’s third try.
Hunters captain Ase Boas, who had an off day with the boot kicking four from eight, and halves partner Charlie Simon controlled proceedings well throughout the opening half with Gabbie getting his second try in the 35th minute for a 20-6 halftime score.
Earlier Wynnum No.7 Jayden Burrell had crashed over close to the line to get his side on the board.
Gabbie’s second try was perhaps the best of the afternoon with the Hunters working two second man plays in a move that saw two decoy runners for each pass off the first receiver before Gabbie, who had run around from the short side, took the fourth pass to go over untouched.
Back-rower McKenzie Yei scored his first try of the season when he pounced on a fumbled catch by Wynnum wing Jack Goodsell two minutes into the second half.
At 26-6 and with the crowd behind them, the Hunters continued to get the better of the exchanges and the result was further cemented when Puara split the marker defence to run 30m before turning it back in to Moses Meninga for the prop to score under the uprights in the 45th minute.
Boas scored his side’s seventh try in the 52nd minute after getting an assist from Puara and at 36-6, the Hunters looked like they could hit the half century mark with 25minutes to go.
The Boas brothers combined to score the Hunters eighth try of the afternoon, with Ase gathering in a grubber in-goal to counter attack running 60m before off-loading to Watson to score on Wynnum’s right edge.
The visitors, who last week upset the Norths Devils, finished strongly with tries to centre Delouise Hoeter (70th minute) and back-rower Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard (79th minute).
The Hunters travel to Rockhampton to face the CQ Capras on Saturday in the final round of the regular season and need a win to secure their place in the top six. PNG Hunters 40 (Edene Gabbie 2, Wartovo Puara Jr, Adex Wera, McKenzie Yei, Moses Meninga, Ase Boas, Watson Boas tries; Ase Boas 4 con) Wynnum Manly Seagulls 16 (Jayden Burrell, Delousie Hoeter, Adam Tuimamave-Gerrard tries; Michael Dobson 2 con)
Rd 23 Results: Sat, Aug, 18 – Tigers 36 Magpies 34, Jets 52 TH Seagulls 16, Bears 22 Blackhawks 12, Cutters 32 Devils 24, Capras 26 Falcons 18, Pride 6 Dolphins 16; Sun, Aug 19 – Hunters 40 WM Seagulls 16

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