By ISAAC LIRI
THE PNG Hunters understand what went wrong last Sunday in their 28-20 loss to Redcliffe Dolphins and will be looking to get back on track when they take on Northern Pride in their round 18 Q-Cup clash on Sunday.
An important aspect which coach Michael Marum emphasised on was their goal line defence which led to some soft tries conceded.
“We had a look at the video of last weekend’s loss to the Redcliffe Dolphins and we gave away some soft tries there,” Marum said.
“That is something we can’t afford to do again at this stage of the competition. We can’t do that against Northern Pride.
“We have to get off the line and stop them, we did well in that area against the Falcons the week before but we failed terribly last week.
“After the loss on Sunday we went back to the dressing room and had a meeting and it was a bit hard for the boys to get over the loss but they know what went wrong so we’re fixing that at training this week.”
With only seven games remaining in regular competition, Marum, pictured, knows their chances to make the top six are decreasing with every loss.
Last Sunday’s loss dented the team’s hopes of moving up the ladder to the magical sisth spot. As it stands the Dolphins came out with a gritty, no nonsense attitude that saw them exact their first win on PNG soil and keep the home side in 11th spot on the Q-Cup ladder.
The defending premiers will have to win all their remaining games in order to have a chance and according to Marum, it all depends on the attitude of each individual at this crucial stage.
“We’ve been asking our experienced players all through the season to stand up and we’ve got only a few games remaining now so our chances to make the top six are now slimmer than before,” he said.
“There is still a good chance for us to get there but again it all comes down to the each individual.
“The Northern Pride will be tough but we don’t want to focus a lot on them, we want to fix our own game before we think about them (Pride).
“Sometimes we focus more on other teams and we lose focus on our own preparations.
“We played Pride at their home ground in round two and they beat us (26-14) and they’re fourth place so they’ll be tough up here,”Marum said.
Meanwhile, Marum has retained the same side from last Sunday’s game to face the Pride, who are coming off a 24-18 loss to the Easts Tigers.
The only change to the 20-member squad sees utility half Gahuna Silas coming onto the extended bench for reserve half William Mone. Silas has not played since round 13 against the Tigers
SP Hunters: 1. Edene Gabbie 2. Junior Rau 3. Thompson Teteh 4. Willie Minoga 5. Brendon Gotuno 6. Ase Boas (c) 7. Watson Boas 8. Enoch Maki 9. Wartovo Puara Jr 10. Stanton Albert 11. Nixon Put 12. Rhadley Brawa 13. Moses Meninga; Interchange: 14. Charlie Simon 15. Wawa Paul 16. Adex Wera 17. Dilbert Isaac 18. Baundo Aba 19. Gahuna Silas 20. Butler Morris (two to be ommitted).
By ISAAC LIRI