Burleigh Bears

Church leads Tigers to victory

The Tigers held off the Bears 22-18 in a hard-fought grand final match.

Matthew Church, who was the Coach for SP PNG Hunters from 2020 – 2022, steered the Brisbane Tigers to premiership glory in his first year at the club.

Tigers registered first on the scoreboard through Prop Tristan Powell 12 minutes into the game and Tigers took the early lead with a successful conversion. However, the lead was short-lived when the Bears Tony Francis crossed the line twice to give his side a lead 8 – 6 with missed conversions.

Hunters regroup to face Bears

It’s been a short week for the Hunters who returned to Port Moresby following their disappointing loss to the Northern Pride last weekend. The travel to and from Papua New Guinea means the Hunters observed a restricted training schedule this week, but no doubt they will be eager to take the field on Saturday and respond to their Round 5 loss.  

Hunters Stun League Leaders in final Home-Away-From-Home Match

With a host of supporters in attendance to finally farewell the Hunters from the Gold Coast, the PNG side produced a stunning 32-24 win over competition heavyweights Burleigh Bears in Round 19 of the QRL Hostplus Cup.

The occasion seemed to bring the best out of the Hunters who started strongly and maintained their dominance right through until the final stages to notch an emotional victory at their home-away-from-home in Runaway Bay.

Round 19 Match Preview: SP PNG Hunters v Burleigh Bears

This match is again potentially the last time the Hunters will play at their home-away-from-home on the Gold Coast in 2022, with plans to return to Papua New Guinea next week for the last game of the regular season still tentatively placed and pending approval from the QRL. 

The Hunters come into Round 19 on the back of a nail-biting 23-23 draw with the Townsville Blackhawks last weekend and will take plenty of confidence from that result. 

Further Delays To Hunters Homecoming

The QRL has sought ongoing independent advice in relation to the proposed Hunters’ home match on Saturday, August 20. 

Based on this advice and the need to ensure the health and safety of all teams and club personnel remains a priority, the Board has not approved travel to PNG this weekend.

As a result, the Round 19 game between the Hunters and Bears will now be played at Bycroft Oval on the Gold Coast. 

Bears Thrash PNG Hunters

The Hunters suffered their fourth consecutive loss under a wet weather threatened to dampen the historic annual match-up, but both sides adapted to the conditions to produce an entertaining 80 minutes.

Despite the scoreboard suggests, the Hunters earned their share of opportunities but the difference lay in Burleigh’s ability to capitalise on field position and weight of possession.

Round 5 ‘Kokoda Cup’ Match Preview: SP PNG Hunters v Burleigh Bears

The Burleigh Bears started their 2022 campaign with consecutive wins over Wynnum-Manly, Townsville and Redcliffe before falling short to the Tweed Seagulls in Round 4.

After a week off over the Easter long weekend, the Bears will be looking to bounce back from that loss with a strong showing on Monday.

The PNG Hunters are looking to add to their Round 1 win over Mackay after a string of tough losses to three of the competition heavyweights in the opening month of the season.

Hunters Hope To Regain Spark Against Bears

Benji Kot has been suspended on a high-tackle charge and will miss the match against the seventh placed Bears, who won a memorable Kokoda Cup showdown at Pizzey Park on Anzac Day this year.

That match typified the spirit in the PNG-Burleigh clashes, which have taken on an extra spice this year with the teams both located on the Gold Coast, where the Hunters are playing out this season because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Crowd cheers Hunters to victory

Saving the best for last, Adex Wera sprinted towards the Bears’ tryline for a comfortable 20-10 win.

The teams were evenly matched in the first 20 minutes of the game, testing each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Senior player and hooker, Wartovo Puara Jnr, was the first to break the monotone with his second try for the 2018 Intrust Super Cup season.

Unfortunately, captain Ase Boas was unable to convert the try.

6 minutes later, the Burleigh Bears responded with a runaway try by Troy Leo.

Bears arrive ahead of ISC clash

The team is currently ranked third in the Intrust Super Cup competition with 26 points, while the SP PNG Hunters are ninth on the ladder with 20 points.

In last weekend’s round 19 game, the Bears beat the Central Queensland Capras 24-14, while the Hunters beat Norths Devils 32-10.

Sunday’s game is a must-win for the Hunters if they wish to make the top 6.

The team lists for round 20:

SP PNG Hunters