By ISAAC LIRI
THE PNG Hunters outfit may seem new on paper with five debutants but captain Adex Wera is confident his team can make a statement in their season opener against the Tweed Heads Seagulls on Sunday at the Piggabeen Sporting Complex in Brisbane.
“Its’ going to be hard for our first game because we have a lot of new and young boys that have come into the team,” Wera said.
“We’ve gone through intensive training all through pre-season and we’ve bonded well so now we just have to perform.
“For many of our new players it’s a new experience for them but along the way we’ve talked with them and given them ideas.
“Our opponents (Tweed Heads) know that we have a lot of new players but that won’t stop us from giving our best, I have confidence in the boys.
“The efforts that the boys have put in all through pre-season shows that they’re all hungry to play.
“I’ve told most of the new players that it is not going to be easy, our first game and all our games will be tough and I think the key thing for us in our first game is to be positive.
“We have two new wingers, Brendan Nima and Gairo Kapana and its going to be tough for them to play at this level in the Intrust Super Cup but I know they’ve put in a lot of effort in the training so they should be ready to make their debuts,” the centre said.
“William Mone has been with us in camp for a while and he has learnt a lot and during our training drills he has been executing plays very well.”
Wera, the only surviving foundation Hunter, will play his 101st Q-Cup match as well as captain the side for the first time on Sunday.
The Hunters have a good record at Piggabeen Sports Complex having won three of their five games there and Marum’s side enjoys a 6-3 record overall against the Gulls.
The Hunters won their last match 22-18 away against Tweed Heads in Round 22 last year.
Hunters: 1. Joe Joshua 2. Brendon Nima 3. Bland Abavu 4. Adex Wera (c) 5. Gairo Kapana 6. Charlie Simon 7. William Mone 8. Moses Meninga 9. Patrick Morea 10. Enoch Maki 11. Ila Alu 12. Daniel Tapol 13. Junior Rop Interchange 14. Nick Hasu 15. Butler Morris 16. Dilbert Isaac 17. McKenzie Yei 18. Wawa Paul.
Rd 1 Fixtures: Sat, March 9 – Easts Tigers v Mackay Cutters, Sunshine Coast v Wynnum Manly, Northern Pride v Redcliffe Dolphins; Sun, March 10 – Ipswich Jets v Townsville Blackhawks, Tweed Heads Seagulls v PNG Hunters, Souths Logan v Central Queensland Capras, Norths Devils v Burleigh.
By ISAAC LIRI