Second scalp in sight

Normal, Sports

The National, Thursday 06th of March, 2014

THE Papua New Guinea Hunters look for back-to-back wins as they host defending champions Mackay Cutters in the second round of the Queensland Cup this weekend.
And what better place to launch the ambush plans than at the Kalabond Oval in Kokopo on Saturday.
Coach Michael Marum has also called up home boy Joe Bruno to be a big part of his plan, slotting him into the front row – the position the lofty forward was used in when part of the Agmark Gurias brigade.
Bruno, who was 18th man and didn’t play in last Sunday’s historic 24-18 win over Redcliffe Dolphins in Redcliffe, Queensland gets into the starting side in place of Gonzela Urakusie.
Noel Joel comes into the side as the new 18th man, however, the team could change between now and Saturday ahead of the SP Hunters’ first home game at Kalabond – a venue most familiar with the Gurias history have christened “The Graveyard”.
Teams in the Digicel Cup, which visit Kalabond, fly out the tourist hub, loaded with plenty of memories of the scenic views of Kokopo but empty-handed, leaving Gurias to enjoy the competition points.
Marum, the former Gurias mentor who has plotted the visiting teams’ demise, is still the chief navigator but this time doing the same for a different ship known as the Hunters.
The Hunters face the Cutters who are recovering from a 40-12 loss to Easts Tigers in last week’s season opener.
It was sweet revenge for Easts who were left hanging onto the runners-up prize last year after going down to Cutters 27-20.
But the Hunters are aware that a wounded animal can be a very dangerous prey and every effort must be made to subdue the Cutters this weekend.
Coach Marum knows that too and is glad that the players have responded well to training after Sunday’s win over Redcliffe.
“We have been very careful to ensure that the players get back into our weekly routine and treat every match as equally important.
“We have a stretch of three home games now which is great for the club and fans.
“However, we play the defending premiers (Cutters) and minor premiers (Northern Pride) from last year so it is going to be a very demanding three weeks for us.
“It’s important we continue to work on the basics and improve on areas we didn’t do well on last Sunday. In this competition we have to back it up week after week against quality opposition and we are all working hard at training.
“It will be good to play in front of a parochial home crowd and we hope we get a sell-out at Kalabond…”
PNG Hunters:  1. Adex Wera, 2. Garry Lo, 3. Thompson Teteh, 4. Albert Patak,  5. George Benson, 6. Israel Eliab (c), 7. Roger Laka, 8. Joe Bruno, 9. Wartovo Puara, 10. Timothy Lomai,  11. David Loko, 12. Brandy Peter, 13. Sebastian Pandia, 14. Noel Zeming, 15. Willie Minoga, 16. Lawrence Tu’u, 17. Adam Korave, 18. Noel Joel. (three to be omitted). Coach: Michael Marum.
Mackay Cutters: 1. Liam Taylor 2. James Uhatafa 3. Josh Benjamin 4. Chris Ulugia 5. Justin Tavae 6. Doug Hewitt 7. Tom Rouse 8. Sam Hoare 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Karl Davies 11. Dean Webster 12. Chris Gesch 13. John Asiata 14. Dave Petersen 15. Dan Beasley 16. Aleki Falepaini 17. Tyson Martin (c) 18. Dan Murphy 19. Zac Dalton 20. Ryan Kinlyside (two to be omitted). Coach: Kim Williams.