By MELTON PAIS
SP PNG Hunters forward Timothy Lomai is relieved to be back in the side for Sunday’s Q-Cup Round 17 match against the Tweed Heads Seagulls after missing the last four games with a fractured hand.
The 24-year-old suffered the injury in the Round 12 clash against the Ipswich Jets.
Lomai’s selection could not have come at a better time with the Hunters pack lacking that added punch in the 24-8 loss to the Norths Devils last week.
The Southern Highlander’s hard-running and aggressive approach will mesh well with the inclusion of Adam Korave and Brandy Peter.
Coach Michael Marum relied on Lomai to add steel off the bench earlier in the season but the 105kg forward, who can play from the front row to lock equally well, has earned himself a starting jersey purely on the impact and drive he gives the pack.
Lomai is just one trooper returning from a frustrating lay-off while fellow forward Nickson Borana faces at least another three weeks recovering from a knee injury after breaking down in the Round 15 clash against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
Philemon Kimisive is the other Hunter sidelined with injury and is expected back by Round 20 at the earliest.
In an interview with The National yesterday, Lomai said the time was good but he was ready to help the Hunters get back on track against Tweed Heads.
“I’m good now and feeling a little bit excited and nervous about this weekend’s game,” Lomai said.
“It will be good to get back out there and take those hit ups and make tose tackles and get back into the game.
“It’s been frustrating for us because we’ve lost a few games and the injuries are not helping but we have to keep on performing.”
Lomai admitted that he was a little hesitant coming back from a broken hand but trusted his medical staff and the Hunters management for their confidence in him.
“I just have to be positive in everything I do.”
By MELTON PAIS