QRL: Plan important for the game

QRL Chairman Bruce Hatcher, although unable to attend yesterday’s launch in Port Moresby said the High Performance Plan is a wonderful initiative.

“And it’s one that represents a big step forward for the game in a country that lives and breathes rugby league.

“I’d like to congratulate the PNGRFL for their foresight and efforts in bringing this plan to fruition with the support of QRL staff, who have also worked diligently in their roles within the PacificAus Sports Program.”

Tepend gives players opportunity

PNG Hunters Coach Stanley Tepend has announced that he’ll be giving everybody the opportunity to take field before he confirms his first 17-man for the season opener on March 11.

While intensity at training has been maintained, the team is now focusing more on real game situation with more opposed sessions.

Coach Tepend has vowed to use next week’s trial match against the CQ Capras as an ideal opportunity for the boys to step up and get a first taste of what to expect and how they can handle pressure at the Queensland Cup level.

Wane set for comeback

Wane was ruled out of the 2022 season after picking up a foot injury in the match against Townsville Blackhawks.

Hunters speed machine Solo Wane is back up and running after going through rehab and recovery process after last year’s season ending foot injury.

Wane made his debut for the Hunters 2021 after his impressive run with local club Hela Wigmen taking out the 2020 Digicel Cup grand title against the Tigers.

In his two tenure with Hunters so far Solo Wane had scored some great tries but none more spectacular than his long range try

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. 

Hunters Confirm Homecoming

The Hunters’ return to PNG next month is made possible thanks to the Australian Government’s PacificAus Sports Program and Newcrest Mining Limited, owner of the Lihir gold project, who are co-funding the operation. 

“This is a great chance for all of us who support the SP PNG Hunters to see them live and cheer them on at home for the first time in a long time,” said Newcrest’s PNG Country Manager Stanley Komunt.

“PNG loves rugby league and we’re thrilled to play a part in getting the Hunters back in front of their home crowd for their last three games.”

Capras Pile the Points On The Hunters

Just a week after beating the then third-ranked side in Wynnum Manly the Hunters couldn’t back it up against another top team on Sunday in the Capras, who ran in 11 tries to four in a dominant attacking display.
Despite how the scoreboard read at fulltime, both teams started the game with a clear defensive mindset as they traded shots at the other’s line.

SP PNG Hunters v CQ Capras, Match Preview

The Hunters will ride a wave of confidence into this weekend’s contest, having produced their best performance of the season last week against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls to win 36-22.

There were some notable changes to the Hunters’ squad who won that game – namely a new halves pairing of Kingstimer Paraia and Judah Rimbu, and skipper Keven Appo’s move from edge forward to lock – but the most significant difference between the Hunters’ of Round 14 and the 2022 season as a whole was their intent and aggression on both sides of the ball. 

Inspired Hunters Beat Seagulls

In picturesque conditions at BMD Kougari Oval on Saturday afternoon, the Hunters embraced the lively Wynnum crowd and their intent was evident from the kick-off. The PNG side worked into attacking field position confidently with just their second possession and looked dangerous with the ball until some resolute Seagulls’ defence forced the first error of the match.

PNG Hunters Vs Wynnum-Manly Seagulls Match Preview

Saturday’s match is a good opportunity to bounce back for the Hunters, who were ambushed by a lively Ipswich Jets outfit at home last weekend.

The Jets played to the slippery conditions expertly while the Hunters were off their game and will be looking for a response in Round 14 against last year’s grand finalists.

The positive from that game against the Jets was the successful return from injury for Ila Alu, who again settles for a bench role this week, as he works his way back into the side.