PNG Hunters’ comeback stifled

The Mackay Cutters remained composed to stifle a PNG Hunters comeback as they held on for a 34 – 26 win at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby today.

Despite showing determination to come back from a 12-point deficit to lock the scores in the 57th minute, the Cutters proved too strong, delivering the crucial blow to beat the Hunters at home.

The Hunters were the first to post points following a penalty in front of the Cutters’ posts, with Ase Boas slotting over the ball in the second minute for a 2-nil lead.

Four minutes in, Adex Wera would accelerate through a gap and fends off a Cutters defender to run 30 metres for 6 – 0 lead.

From then on the Cutters would pick up momentum and created sustained pressure on the Hunters’ tryline and in the 15th minute, Jordan Kenworthy would go through a gap to lock the scores.

Six minutes later, Jayden Hodges would dive under the posts to take the lead for the Cutters.

The Cutters did not stop there and three minutes later, Jayden Batchlor would score for the visitors for a 16 – 6 lead.

The Cutters were running at will and eight minutes before halftime, Blake Atherton scored for a 16-point lead.

The Hunters kept trying and an overhead pass from Terry Wapi found Adex Wera, who would show pace again to reach the try line for a 22 – 10 score going into halftime.

Two minutes into the second half and the Cutters opened the scoring through Jack Hickson to take their lead to 26 – 10.

From there on, the Hunters picked up the pace and scored three tries within a 10-minute period; two from Brendan Nima and the other from Patrick Morea as the Hunters locked the scores at 26-all.

Despite the momentum shift, the Cutters remained composed and once in Hunters territory, Tyler Gardinar scored a crucial try with 16 minutes remaining.

The Hunters gifted the Cutters two easy points for an eight-point lead, which they would hold on to win the match.

Cedric Patjole