Norths Devils

Devils Beat Hunters

From the kickoff it was clear the Hunters had a point to prove, defending their line for  consecutive sets and denying Norths on both edges before forcing them to find points with a kick to Brendan Frei in the 3rd minute. 

The Hunters would react convincingly, again turning Norths away on their own line before defending a second attacking kick. Hunters’ winger Terry Wapi would make a superb defensive catch to take possession for the Hunters before getting them 50m upfield with a clever run down the touch line. 

Round 7 Match Preview: SP PNG Hunters v Norths Devils

The Hunters have endured a difficult start to the 2022 season, facing four of the top five sides across the opening six rounds of the competition.

With a young squad and skipper Ila Alu in the casualty ward, the Hunters have had to learn the hard way and there is a belief in the group that they are building towards something promising.

The Devils are coming off a shoot-out win over Ipswich in Round 5 where a combined 68 points were scored. Norths entire backline crossed for a try in that game and shape as an area of strength again for the Devils in Round 8.

Devils outlast Seagulls to claim first premiership since 1998

Both teams had to contend with a swirling wind that made fielding kicks hard, but the match was still high quality and intense.

Norths Devils coach Rohan Smith was full of emotion following the win which meant so much to him.

"I am just so proud of the whole squad, club, everyone who has contributed," Smith said.

"I don't know if there's another word to say how proud I am.

"I just love this club, I love the people involved.

Hunters winless after five rounds

A penalty goal by Ase Boas in the fifth minute put the visitors 2 points ahead.

Five minutes later, an effortless flick pass from Brandon Nima saw Brendon Gotuno power through for his first try of the season.

An unsuccessful conversion by Boas, however, kept the Hunters at 6 points.

Unfortunately, the visitors’ high ended when Henry Penn registered his team’s first try in the 19th minute of the round 5 match.

Gotuno brings quality to PNG side

The Hunters’ reshuffled round 5 lineup will see Brendon Gotuno take the wing.

The 23-year-old brings quality to the PNG side after his short stint with the Penrith Panthers New South Wales Cup side.

After missing round 4 due to disciplinary reasons, Joe Joshua, Junior Rop and McKenzie Yei will take the field while skipper Adex Wera, Moses Meninga and Wawa Paul will rest their injuries.

Making their debut this weekend are Jerry Teme (Hunter no. 78) and Jack Oii (Hunter no. 79).

We will make sure we win: Hunters

Coming off an impressive 10-point win over Northern Pride on Sunday, the Hunters are now physically and mentally preparing themselves to meet the 4th-placed Norths Devils in the round 19 Country Week game clash.

“For us, playing in Lae is a first time too so we want to make sure we leave with the 2 points,” said Marum.

“It will be a tough one.

“Last week we played the number 4th team Pride, they dropped down and the Norths had a big win so they moved up to number 4 again.”

Three losses away for Hunters

Three tries in the first half from the Devils put them in front at 16-6 at half-time.

The Hunters' only try came from Moses Meninga.

The Hunters were the first to get on the board in the second term through a try from Wartovo Puara Jr.

Captain and five-eighth Ase Boas converted to narrow the deficit with the score at 16-12.

But three tries in the space of 12 minutes to Sam Tagataese, Calum Gahan and Todd Murphy pushed the score out to 34-12 in favour of the Devils.

Rau to debut this weekend

Rau was named in the starting line-up at centre in place of the injured Willie Minoga.

SP Hunters coach, Michael Marum has also moved Adex Wera to fullback with Butler Morris to play at centre. Patrick Morea and Junior Bobby have been named on the extended bench.

The 20 man squad (two to be omitted):

1. Adex WERA

2. Edene GABBIE

3. Junior RAU

4. Butler MORRIS

5. Brendon GOTUNO

6. Ase BOAS - Captain

7. Charlie SIMON

8. Moses MENINGA

9. Wartovo PUARA Jnr

10. Adam KORAVE

11. Nixon PUT

The club that produced six current Kangaroos

The premiership winning Melbourne Storm quartet of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Will Chambers all wore the Devils jersey, as did Broncos duo Josh McGuire and Matt Gillett.

Kangaroos squad member Ben Hunt has also played for Norths.

Hunters still leading comp

Their 40-18 of the Norths Devils yesterday brought to total ten wins this season from 12 games played.

The Hunters have only suffered two losses and have had the one bye. They have recorded a points for and against of 134. This has brought them to 22 competition points.

Round 14 will see the Hunters play the Souths Logan Magpies this Sunday at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.

More positive news for the Hunters is Ase Boas remains at the top as the competition’s leading point scorer with 128 points.