Simon recalled to partner Boas


THE SP Hunters will field their most experienced halves combination this Queensland Intrust Super Cup (ISC) season when they face second-placed Norths Devils at Bishop Park tomorrow (2.10pm kick-off) with one major goal in mind — control the football.The Hunters have recalled Charlie Simon to take the No.7 jersey, partnering veteran Kumuls playmaker and 2017 premiership-winning skipper Ase Boas, after fielding rookies Judah Rimbu, Solomon Pokare and Edwin Ipape in recent weeks.The 28-year-old Simon played the first five games of 2021, which produced three victories for Matt Church’s outfit, all alongside Watson Boas before he returned to England to resume his contract with Doncaster. Simon has been improving his game with the Runaway Bay Seagulls in the Gold Coast A-grade competition. After four games there, he has shown he is ready to help steer the Hunters with Watson’s brother Ase his guiding partner.It will be Simon’s 40th ISC game and Boas’ 112th with hooker Wartovo Puara Jr’s 116 appearances giving the Hunters their most seasoned up-front part of their spine in what is otherwise a largely young line-up.Church knows the key to competing with well-oiled and confident teams like Norths is for the Hunters to complete their sets well.“We just have to complete our sets to give ourselves a chance against top sides and to do that, we have to maximise ball handling and efficiency,” Church said.“To have someone of Ase’s experienced is highly welcomed — he’s done it all having played for his country and captained the Hunters to a premiership. “And he will enjoy the responsibility with this young group. Most successful teams have stability in key positions and we haven’t been able to provide that in the spine.“Simon is a pretty experienced half coming back. He had a few things to work on and went back to reserve grade and worked on those things and deserves to be back in the side.“We have to be able to build pressure against top teams and that means playing up-tempo like the Hunters always do but also respecting the ball and getting to the end of our sets. That’s our No.1 goal this weekend.“If anyone doesn’t turn up in this competition they can be beaten, no matter where they are on the ladder. If we turn up and put pressure on Norths, we’re right in the game.”
Fixtures: Sat, June 12 — Devils v Hunters, Blackhawks v Capras, Pride v Jets, Cutters v Tweed Heads, Cutters v Bears; Sun, June 13 — Tigers v Falcons, Magpies v Wynnum Manly.