sp hunters

Final cut pending for SP Hunters

More players are expected to be dropped as the team works towards a final squad for the 2019 Intrust Super Cup season.

60 young men with big dreams were called to try out for the SP Hunters team in November 2018.

Unfortunately, nearly half of the squad was released for personal reasons, failing medical or fitness tests and ruled out with injuries.

SP Hunters assistant coach, Nigel Hukula, said it was a difficult task as the clusters of players brought in had truly showed their worth over the 6-week period.


32 to resume SP Hunters training

SP Hunters coach Michael Marum said the 32 players will return to camp on Sunday in Port Moresby. “In consultation with the coaching staff, we are now trimming the squad to those players who can fill the positions and sustain a long season,” Marum said.

To those players that have been released, Marum said: “We have given them programs to continue training and have advised them on areas they need to improve on.

“We hope that they share what they have experienced in the Hunters program with their respective clubs and continue to improve and better their standards.”

More players released from SP Hunters

Coach Michael Marum said training is getting intensive and the different methods they underwent showed these six players were carrying injuries and therefore have been released.

The six players released with injury concerns are:

  1. Maya Clark
  2. John Stanley
  3. Kong Mogan
  4. Raphael Robert
  5. Jerome Mura
  6. Swahzer Kandaki

Marum has added Jerry Teme from Hela Wigmen to the pre-season training squad.

This leaves 45 players in the train on squad.

The squad will be trimmed to 30 by December 23, 2018.

Former SP Hunters stars leave for new clubs

Putt and Brawa left on Sunday afternoon, while Gebbie had left earlier for Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

PNG internationals Gebbie and Brawa have signed with Wynnum Manly Seagulls while former teammate Nixon Putt has joined the Norths Devils.

23-year-old Koiari man Gebbie has attracted attention with his energy and swift play – a large feat considering he’s a debutant in the Intrust Super Cup 2018 season.

His performance has earned him a Hunters rookie of the year award.

60-man training squad announced

This includes Brendon Nima, Edward Ipape and Woods Kawage, who were in the PNG Kumuls squad for the recent England Knights tour.

They join 15 players retained from last year’s squad.

Three former SP Hunters players – William Aquila, Junior Rop and Bland Abavu - have also been included.

Players from the Southern and Highlands Confederates as well as local leagues POMRFL, UPNG and one from Alotau RL are also included and given an opportunity.

SP PNG Hunters Train On Squad 2019

SP Hunters members certified in first aid

Mekenzie YEI, Dilbert ISAAC, Butler MORRIS, Radley BRAWA, Wartovo PUARA Jnr, Enoch MAKI, Charlie SIMON, Brendon GOTUNO, Edene GABBIE, Ila ALU, Baundo ABA, Thompson TETEH and Watson BOAS were the recipients, alongside trainer Joe Bruno.

The SP PNG Hunters are the first sporting team to engage in such a life-saving program, in partnership with the St John’s Ambulance.

As rugby is a contact sport, players are likely to sustain injuries that will require immediate first aid assistance.

William Mone 18th man

Coach Michael Marum said those players carrying injuries/illnesses passed fitness and medical tests.

The 18 man team is:

  1. Edene Gebbie
  2. Junior Rau
  3. Thompson Teteh
  4. Adex Wera
  5. Brendon Gotuno
  6. Ase Boas          -              Captain
  7. Watson Boas
  8. Enock Maki
  9. Wartovo Puara Jnr
  10. Moses Meninga
  11. Nixon Put
  12. Willie Minoga
  13. Stanton Albert


Blackhawks back Hunters

Speaking after his side’s 12-8 loss to the Hunters at the Oil Search National Football Stadium on Sunday, Woolf said a team only needs to win three or four games in a row to be right back in the mix to take out the Intrust Super Cup title.

“We were aiming for our seventh win in a row, and we’re certainly in decent form, but they were able to beat us. I think they’re going to really worry some teams.

One game at a time

After their third consecutive win yesterday, the Hunters have now moved into 9th place on 10 points with the top six now within reach.

Marum said the bye in round 9 was just what the Hunters needed after getting off to a rocky start to the season.

“We changed a lot of things we did wrong over the first seven weeks. I put some really strict rules in place and we went back to the drawing board.

“Most of the senior players that you see now leading the team were the ones that I pulled aside and spoke to them individually, and now they’re stepping up.

Hunters move into 10th spot

Four wins from 10 games (three at home and one away) has put the defending premiers on eight points, with a points difference of -42.

With the wind in their sails, the Hunters will be aiming to make it three consecutive wins when they take on the Townsville Blackhawks this Sunday at the Oil Search National Football Stadium. Kick-off is at 3pm.

The standings after round 11: