On the prowl

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday February 26th, 2014

 THE Papua New Guinea Hunters have named an extended 18-man squad for their Queensland Cup opener against Redcliffe on Sunday. 

Only 17 players will be used in the Intrust Super Club opener at the Dolphin Oval in Redcliffe with one to be omitted before kick off.

But officials declined to give little away regarding who would play what positions, electing to name the players in alphabetical order.

The squad is built around versatility with several players with the ability to play more than one position. 

Two specialist hookers Wartovo Puara and Lawrence Tu’u were named, however the Gulf Isapea rake’s speed makes him an ideal utility option to come off the bench and run at a tiring defence later in the match. 

Captain Israel Eliab should start but whether he is picked at five-eighth or halfback would determine which two halves candidates –  Roger Laka and Noel Zeming – get to start. 

The forwards are Gonzella Urakusie, Joe Bruno, Timothy Lomai, David Loko, Sebastian Pandia, Brandy Peter  and Adam Korave – who will either start or come off the bench if they make the 17. 

The back line has contenders and speed merchants in wingers Albert Patak, Gary Lo and George Benson while the centres are Thompson Teteh and Willie Minoga with fullback choice Adex Wera. 

Marum said it has been a good few days at training this week with the players and coaching staff looking forward to getting the season underway.

“Training has been good, but it’s time to get out there and play. We are still working hard on the little things we need to get right but the players are really looking forward to the opening match against Redcliffe,” Marum said.

The team leaves on Thursday so that they can prepare well and meet commitments to the Queensland Rugby League season launch on Friday.

“We are expecting great support at the match and I hope the PNG community living in Brisbane and surrounding areas gets to the game to support the boys.”

Captain Eliab, coach Marum, chief executive officer Brad Tassell, chairman Sandis Tsaka and Minister for Sport Justin Tkatchenko will attend the Queensland Rugby League’s official launch of the Intrust Super Cup competition in Brisbane on Friday morning with all other club representatives, media and special guests.

The club’s music video and promotion clip will feature prominently at the launch along with a tourism video showcasing the club’s home base for the next two years in Kokopo.

The players will also be attending a welcome BBQ put on by the PNG community and the PNG Consulate at the Roma Street, Parklands, Brisbane on Saturday from 10am to 2pm, before heading to training in the afternoon for the captain’s run.
The game kicks off at 2pm. 
The Hunters squad: Adam Korave, Adex Wera, Albert Patak, Brandy Peter, David Loko, Garry Lo, George Benson, Gonzella Urakusie, Israel Eliab (c), Joe Bruno, Lawrence Tu’u, Noel Zeming, Roger Laka, Sebastian Pandia, Thompson Teteh, Timothy Lomai, Wartovo Puara, Willie Minoga.