By JACK AMI
PAPUA New Guinea Hunters’ McKenzie Yei, who debuted off the bench in the team’s round one win over the Ipswich Jets, has been named in the starting line-up against the Northern Pride in Cairns on Saturday.
Coach Michael Marum said Yei was called in to replace prop Enoch Maki who sustained a serious knee injury during the Queensland Intrust Super Cup opener.
Marum, pictured, said halfback Watson Boas (corked thigh) was named in the starting 13, however, the team medic will need to confirm his availability later in the week.
“Centre Nixon Putt is also in doubt,” Marum said.
“We will know his situation by the (end of the) week as well.”
Marum kept Adex Wera at fullback, with Stargroth Amean cleared to come off the extended bench.
Also coming into the team is big Dilbert Isaac who has shown a lot of determination to be in the side to take on the Pride.
“We are focusing on our defence (at training this week),” Marum said.
“Our error stats are not good, with (a lot) of missed tackles.”
He said the Pride had a bigger forward pack and a good halves combination that needed to be nullified.
The Pride, with former NRL star Todd Carney boosting their attack, will be looking to bounce back following their disappointing round one loss to the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
The extended team is 1. Adex Wera, 2. Wawa Paul, 3. Nixon Putt, 4. Willie Minoga, 5. Butler Morris, 6. Ase Boas, 7. Watson Boas, 8. Moses Meninga, 9. Wartovo Puara, 10. McKenzie Yei, 11. Rhadley Brawa, 12. John Andy, 13. Adam Korave. Inter change 14. Charlie Simon, 15. Ila Alu, 16. Edene Gabbie 17. Dilbert Isaac, 18. Stargroth Amean, 19. Muka Peter Kulu, 20. Brendon Gotuno.
The final 18 to travel will be named tomorrow.
The team flies out for Cairns on Friday.
In Cairns, the team will have the captain’s run at the Brothers Oval.
This will be followed by a “Meet and Greet” with the PNG community and supporters.
By JACK AMI