The National,Tuesday April 5th, 2016
THE Papua New Guinea Hunters take on a Townsville Blackhawks side featuring National Rugby League talent on Sunday in Port Moresby.
The match, which kicks off at 3pm at the National Football Stadium, was rescheduled from its original 7.30pm, Saturday time slot to ensure more fans turned up to the 15,000 capacity venue.
The Blackhawks made an impact in their debut last year by reaching the Intrust Super Cup grand final and, based on their form in their inaugural season, were expected to lift the trophy but were beaten by an in-form Ipswich Jets.
The Blackhawks arsenal features an array of veteran NRL players as well as those who have tasted football in the arguably the world’s best competition.
Captain Glenn Hall has 220 NRL games under his belt, having played for the Canterbury Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Manly Sea Eagles, Sydney Roosters — and of course — the North Queensland Cowboys.
Joining Glenn in the front row as hooker is Anthony Mitchell, who has played 39 games in the NRL for three teams — the Parramatta Eels, Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys.
Mitchell has represented the Indigenous All Stars on two occasions.
Other NRL representatives in the Blackhawks line-up include Jahrome Hughes (Gold Coast Titans), Jonathon Reuben (Sydney Roosters), DelouiseHoeter (Wests Tigers) and Lorenzo Ma’afu (Canterbury Bulldogs).
Current North Queensland Cowboys squad members Kyle Laybutt and Jahrome Hughes add to the experience in the side while Kumul back-rower Rhyse Martin returns to PNG for the Blackhawks.
Former Hunters impact forward Willie Minoga returns to Port Moresby to play against his former teammates for the first time since signing on with the Blackhawks at the end of last season.
There is a chance that ex-Kumul captain, Neville Costigan, might make the trip, giving the Blackhawks an intimidating forward pack.
With both the Blackhawks and the SP Hunters being the new Q-Cup teams on the block, both clubs would like nothing better to having bragging rights over who is the better team.
The Blackhawks arrive in Port Moresby on Saturday.