Impact off bench earns Albert spot in first 13

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By ISAAC LIRI
AFTER returning for the Papua New Guinea Hunters three weeks ago, Stanton Albert, pictured, has earned a spot in the starting side for this weekend’s home fixture against the Mackay Cutters.
Albert’s impressive impact off the bench since returning from Super League side Widnes Vikings earned coach Michael Marum’s nod of approval for a starting spot.
“After three games on the bench, I am happy to be named in the starting line-up for this weekend’s game,” Albert said.
“Coming off the bench was okay for me, but then playing in the starting team is different but I can adapt to it.
“It’s not something new to be playing as a starting forward. “Enoch Maki and I have played together for a long time so the combination there.
“There is no pressure and all I can do is play my footy.
“Last weekend’s loss was a lesson for us and we have a lot of things to work on.
“We still have a chance to make the top five, so we’re working towards that.
“Coming back home, we realised where we went wrong.
“So we’ve worked all week to correct that.”
Albert said injured captain Ase Boas’ leadership was sorely missed in the 30-12 loss to the East Tigers at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Australia, last Saturday.
“We miss him (Ase Boas) on the field,” he said.
“Hopefully, he can recover and join us next week.
Albert said the Hunters’ big men were improving in defence and attack, providing the go-forward the defending champions needed.
“Earlier in the season, I noticed a lot of fans talking about how our forwards needed to step up,” he said.
“But I think there are no serious issues with our forwards.
“It’s just the little things that we need to work.”

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