Hunters draw 28 all against Cutters

A try in the dying minutes of last night's round 24 clash between the Mackay Cutters and SP PNG Hunters left the full time score at 28-28.

Playing away at Mackay Stadium, all the possession was with the Cutters who more than once looked certain to score in the opening minutes.

The Cutters crossed over the line after 7 minutes when Josh Chudleigh dummied, ducked and reached over to land the ball over the line.

A successful conversion put the Cutters in front at 6-0.

A few penalties in their favour got the Hunters going as they worked their way down into Cutters' territory.

From here, Israel Eliab spread the ball out left and put Nickson Borana through a gap to score on debut. Noel Zemming levelled the scores.

A decision by Adex Wera to let the ball bounce from the restart cost the Hunters more points.

Chudleigh soon grabbed his second for the game after spinning out of a tackle and scoring. This gave the Cutters a 10-6 lead.

The Hunters had the advantage with the Cutters being a player short after captain Chris Gesch was sin binned but could not find the line.

But the Hunters made up for this in defence as they denied the Cutters more points through some desperate defence.

Eliab again led the way making a break and leaving it to Atte Bina to run away for a try. Zemming made it two from two to give the Hunters a 12-10 lead 7 minutes out from half time.

Several plays later, it was the Cutters who were celebrating when Jordan Pereira scored out wide right on half time.

Liam Taylor made the kick right from the side line look easy as he swerved the ball in to give his time a 16-12 lead.

The Hunters took back the lead early in the second half of play again through the involvement of Eliab who was taken out after kicking over the Cutters defence.

A penalty brought the Hunters 10 metres out from the try line and the rest was done by a flying Stargroth Amean who hit a gap at speed through a short ball that saw him cross over to score.

Zemming converted gir Hunters to lead 18-16.

But the Cutters hit back twice in as many minutes with two converted tries to take a 10 point lead with the clock winding down.

With 8 minutes left, Hunters' Thompson Teteh used brute force to barge his way over, shrugging off defenders to score.

This brought the score to 28-24 with five minutes left.

Back to back sets and good structure to spread the ball out wide saw Adex Wera level up,  scoring out on the wing.

With less than two minutes left, it was left to Zemming with a kick to win the game. But his kick sailed wide so both teams had to settle for a draw.

Troy Taule