Marum tells pack to lift


SP PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum is demanding better go-forward from his pack when they take on the Northern Pride tomorrow in their round 2 Q-Cup fixture at Barlow Park, Cairns.
Marum, who was critical of his side’s high error count in their Intrust Super Cup opener against the Ipswich Jets last Sunday, said the Pride, who were coming off a 24-12 loss to the Wynnum Manly Seagulls, would be a different proposition.
“We had a poor second half against the Jets where I think we completed something like six of 17 sets which is bad so that’s something we’ve focused on and worked hard at all week,” Marum said.
“Our forwards didn’t make that many metres against the Jets.
“We need our big guys to step up.
“Last week, our smaller forwards John Andy and Rhadley Brawa topped the run metres for us, with over 100m each.
“We really need our big boys going forward.
“We’ve watched the video on the Pride and their pack plays a more direct style so we’ll need to really turn up.”
Marum singled out Pride five-eighth and former NRL and Origin star Todd Carney as the man his side needed to contain.
“I thought Todd’s kicking game was pretty good against Wynnum, and we know he can run,” Marum said.
“He’ll be their key man so we need to shut him down.”
With burly prop Enoch Maki out and McKenzie Yei and Moses Meninga bookending the Hunters front-row, Marum said he was expecting an improved performance from his pack.
“McKenzie and Moses will need to lead from the front for us, especially with two of our regular back-rowers Willie Minoga and Nixon Putt in the centres,” he said.
“Everyone has to pull their weight now.”
Marum said his side also needed to clean up its act in other areas.
“There were too many ball handling errors, forcing passes, not wrapping up the ball in tackles, and we need to be better,” he said.
“Our discipline has to improve as well because we gave away unnecessary penalties against the Jets.”
The team flies out today to Cairns, with Marum saying the only likely change to the 20-man squad named on Tuesday would be Edene Gebbie, whose visa for travel was still being processed yesterday.
Utility Brendon Gotuno will replace Gebbie should he be unable to travel.
The Hunters and Pride have played seven times, with the PNG side having won four games and lost three.
PNG Hunters: 1. Adex Wera 2. Wawa Paul 3. Nixon Putt 4. Willie Minoga 5.Butler Morris 6. Ase Boas (c) 7. Watson Boas 8. Moses Meninga 9. Wartovo Puara Jr 10. McKenzie Yei 11. Rhadley Brawa 12. John Andy 13. Adam Korave; Reserves: 14. Charlie Simon 15. Ila Alu 16. Edene Gebbie 17. Dilbert Isaac 18. Stargroth Amean 19. Muka Peter Kulu 20. Brendon Gotuno.
Round 2 Fixtures: Sat, March 17 – Ipswich Jets v Townsville Blackhawks, Burleigh Bears v Redcliffe Dolphins, Northern Pride v PNG Hunters, CQ Capras v Norths Devils; Sun, March 18 – Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Sunshine Coast Falcons, Easts Tigers v Mackay Cutters, Souths Logan Magpies v Tweed Heads Seagulls.

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