Hunters settle for draw

The Country Round match between the SP PNG Hunters and the Easts Tigers in Wabag ended in a draw after a good fight by the Hunters to come from behind.

A strong forwards performance laid the platform for the Hunters’ comeback from a 24 – 16 half time score.

Woods Kawage opened the scoring in the first minute after a knock on by the Tigers.

The visitors responded immediately, when a fifth last kick finding Bill Cullen for a 6 – 4 lead.

The Tigers went back to back when Sam Lavea scored after some quick play.

After a Tigers’ mistake, the Hunters put in some enterprising play to put Justin Yoka over to score and reduce the Tigers’ lead to two points.

The kick start mistake by the Tigers turned into points for the Hunters with Roy Ellison finished a set move to score on debut.

The Hunters were their own worst enemy, gifting the Tigers easy territory with silly penalties, and they paid when Kelma Tuilagi bumped off defenders to regain the lead for the Tigers. 

In the 35th minute, another fifth tackle kick to the right found Matt Cooper to score for a 24 – 16 score at halftime.

The Tigers caught the Hunters napping at the kick restart and they immediately scored through Jack Svensden for a 30 – 16.

The Hunters forwards however, picked up the momentum and their hard work paid off with Brendon Gotuno scoring down the right edge.

A penalty against the Hunters gifted the Tigers two extra points.

But a Tigers mistake soon after gave Hunters good position and soon scored through Enoch Maki to reduce the margin by eight.

Terry Wapi got Aipus Oval on their feet when he scooted out from dummy half, running through a yawning and beats the fullback for a 32 – 30 score line.

The Hunters were on a roll and minutes later scored through Brendon Nima on the left edge to take the lead 36 – 32.

A two on one strip against the Tigers gave the Hunters two points to extend their lead 38 – 32.

With three minutes remaining, the Tigers regathered the ball and scored through Bill Cullen on the left edge to lock the scores at 38-all at full time.  

(Picture: PNGRFL)

Cedric Patjole