Hunters maintain form to beat Capras

The SP PNG Hunters recent run of form continued in Round 16 of the QRL Hostplus Cup, edging out the Central Queensland Capras to a grinding 14-8 result at the Santos National Football Stadium.

The heaving home crowd was treating to a stop-and-start contest to begin the match on Saturday afternoon as both sides traded blows in yardage.  
The Capras discipline was poor in the early stages, conceding penalties for dissent and making unforced errors to give the Hunters the advantage in the territory battle.  
Hunters fullback Morea Morea was everywhere in the opening quarter of the match, providing great energy and intent on both sides of the ball. Morea almost scoring off a clever Jamie Mavoko grubber kick in the Hunters first attacking set, before then making a crucial stop on a runaway by Capras Trey Brown down the other end of the field.  
Both sides were far from perfect in their completions to open the contest but it was the Hunters who looked best when they held the ball. They dominated field position courtesy of their hard running forwards and applied pressure to the Capras line until it eventually told.  
After some promising actions down both edges through Benji Kot and debutant Whallan Tau-Loi, the Hunters straightened things to score through Judah Rimbu.  
Some bruising defence from PNG’s middle forwards soon earned the Hunters another attacking opportunity, forcing an error from the Capras.  
A promising left edge movement through Sakias Komati and Morea drew a penalty when the Capras defence was caught offside, and the Hunters happily set up camp on the visitors try line. 
As half time approached, a poor kicking game from the Central Queensland halves continued to undo all their positive work in defence. Aaron Moore and Jack Madden sent a few over the touchline and the rest down the throat of the Hunters back three, restricting their gains in the yardage battle.  
Hunters led 10-8 at half time.
PNG enjoyed wonderful contributions from bench players, Trevor Solu, Seal Kalo, Wabo and Wan Noki who all made their presence felt in the Hunters win.  
With PNG’s lead reduced to just two points, both sides lifted their intensity and embraced the grind. The Hunters and Capras went set for set as the clock ticked over, waiting for the other to blink and make a mistake.  
That mistake eventually came from Capras winger Roberts, fumbling a towering Komati bomb to give the Hunters a shot at his own line.  
Three tackles later and backrower Benji Kot fired that shot; steaming onto a Komati shortball to beat the sliding defence and slam the ball down in the in-goal.  
Both teams had their moments but it was Hunters who made the most of their momentum and field position to keep the lead at bay to win 14-8.  

Another tough match awaits the Hunters next weekend at the Santos National Football Stadium, with a contest against the ladder-leading Burleigh Bears in Round 17 of the QRL Hostplus Cup. 

Loop Sports