Paul Aiton

Aiton embraces first coaching gig

For PNG Hunters coach Paul Aiton, since taking up his new role, it’s been both exciting and scary at times but he has been loving the challenge so far.

After a rollercoaster start to his debut season as Hunters Head Coach, former NRL and Super League star Paul Aiton is slowly but surely finding his feet as he continues to maneuver the team around and through the 2024 season.

Hunters host Falcons in Round 3 of Hostplus Cup

The Hunters had their work cut out for them, when they succumbed to a strong Capras outfit going down 36-18 in Rockhampton last week. While it’s still early days, Hunters Coach Paul Aiton said it was reality check for the boys to regroup and bounce back at home.

Both teams will be looking to bounce back after their Round 2 losses to CQ Capras and the Mackay Cutters respectively.

To be played this Saturday at 3pm, the Hunters are looking to improve on effort areas in their game, especially execution, defense and discipline which were their main downfall last week.

Aiton is head coach

When making the big announcement today SP PNG Hunters Chairman Stan Joyce said he is excited to see one of PNG’s finest Rugby League products take the helm at the Hunters and help more of our young Papua New Guinean young men to develop and realise their dreams to play overseas.

Aiton was equally excited after today’s announcement and thanked the board for their trust and faith in his coaching resume adding he’s learned a lot from his predecessors and is now ready to step up to the next challenge.

It also marks another stepping stone in his short coaching career.

Aiton impressed with old boys

Since resuming training, momentum has pick up while the attitude and the work ethics of the players has impressed the coaching staff.

Senior returning Hunters have been commended for taking on some responsibility and leadership role in pushing and guiding the group around the training sessions.

 Players in the caliber of Ila Alu, Wartovo Puara Jr, Brendan Nima, Junior Rop, Benji Kot, Epel Kapinias and the like are doing a lot talking and mentoring which is really pushing the young players to get through their training sets.

Can they topple England?

On the back of the Hunters’ success in taking out the Queensland Cup this season, PNG veteran Paul Aiton has given the national side an on-par chance of sending England home early.

Speaking from Melbourne, Aiton said it’s a 50-50 as far as the Kumuls are concerned; they are training to win!

PNG coach Michael Marum has left out Lachlan Lam following his sensational two-try debut against the United States, opting for experience in the halves with Ase Boas.

Last home game for Aiton

“It has been a long career but it will definitely be the last one for me on PNG soil,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s all gone by really fast.”

The 32-year-old is savouring every moment of playing in his third and final Rugby League World Cup.

“I’m just happy to be part of it. There are so many young and skilful players out there, so I’m just really glad that Michael Marum and the board gave me a chance to finish and play in my third world cup.”

Aiton first made his debut for the Kumuls back in 2004.