THE SP Hunters will look to rebound from their 16-30 loss to Redcliffe Dolphins when they face Tweed Heads Seagulls in round 10 of Queensland’s Hostplus Cup next Sunday (3pm kick-off).
Hosts Tweed Heads are four rungs above the South Pacific Brewery-sponsored Hunters in eighth spot, having won a game more than the visitors, who will want to make the most of this bye weekend to re-focus their efforts down the middle.
Coach Matthew Church’s men can take heart from the fact that they have won eight of the 12 matches between the two sides, including the last pair of fixtures, which the Hunters won 30-18 (2021) and 20-14 (2019) at home.
Meanwhile, prop Dilbert Isaac was named in the Hostplus Cup team of the week despite the 12th-placed Hunters suffering their sixth loss of the season.
Continuing his return from serious spinal injury, which kept him out of the game for a year, the former Port Moresby Viper made 151 run metres – the most of any Hunter – in the round-nine loss.
Isaac also made two line-breaks in his 50-minute performance in wet conditions at Bycroft Oval, Runaway Bay, Gold Coast.
The 29-year-old Chuave man and fellow forwards Sylvester Namo and Junior Rop are pushing their claims for a spot in the national squad for the Kumuls’ June 25 Pacific Test match against Fiji at Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney.
Hunters assistant mentor and Kumuls head coach Stanley Tepend and his national selectors are expected to finalise a squad without England-based PNG internationals Rhyse Martin, Watson Boas, Nene Macdonald and Edwin Ipape.