The National, Friday 14th of March, 2014
By PETER SEVARA Jr
THE Papua New Guinea Hunters have a score to settle with the Central Queensland Capras.
Michael Marum’s men were beaten 30-18 in a pre-season warm-up in Rockhampton last month and will be out to square the ledger at Kalabond Oval tomorrow.
Regular season form has been a contrast for the sides as the Hunters ride a wave of first-season enthusiasm, winning two from two.
The Capras have not had it so sweet, losing their opening two Queensland Cup in high-scoring matches to the Burleigh Bears 36-26 and 38-26 to the Northern Pride.
For the Hunters, the inclusion of hard-nosed prop Esau Siune for his first game sees coach Marum deviating slightly from the fast-paced style he has pushed over the first two games.
Siune, who played in that trial loss, has been given the chance after back-rower Adam Korave pulled out injured.
Willie Minoga, who started off as a centre in the Capras trial match, has found his niche, exploding off the bench as a mobile forward.
Tiger Emere has been called up in an 18-man team as Korave and Noel Joel sit out injured.
The Capras are confident of proving that their trial match win was no fluke.
The Hunters have to clamp down on the Capras go forward.
The South Pacific Brewery-sponsored Hunters are in third spot behind the Northern Pride and South Logan Magpies.
Capras coach Jason Hetherington will be depending on Hughie Stanley to take lead as the team has been forced by passport issues faced by many of their players to make changes.
“We’ve made a few changes but probably forced changes due to some of the boys not getting their passports back in time,” Hetherington said.
“We’re still fielding a strong squad; this year we have plenty of depth and we can cover those spots.
“A big positive for us is having Hughie Stanley back after a fortnight off.”
He said Stanley’s knowledge and dominance would play a major role in the Capras snaring their first win of the season.
“He’s a quality player and I know he’ll do a good job for us,” Hetherington said.
“If we can get the first win – and I’m confident we can – this could be a good turn for us,” he said. “I just think if we get that first win the confidence will come.”