round 19

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. 

Panthers hold off Sharks to make it nine straight

After falling behind 10-0 early, the Panthers slowly worked their way back into the game and had the class to grind out their 17th victory of the season.

The Sharks made the ideal start a Matt Moylan bomb was tapped back to Jesse Ramien who found Connor Tracey and the winger stepped off his right foot and beat four Panthers defenders to score in the corner after eight minutes.

Wighton inspires Raiders to stunning comeback against Warriors

With his side trailing 14-0 at the break, Wighton kicked a pair of 40/20s in the second period, both of which led directly to tries, and put his team in position to record their fourth-straight win at home at GIO Stadium. 

Corey Harawira-Naera contributed plenty as well, with two tries off the bench, while fellow Kiwi big man Joseph Tapine powered to 189 metres in the middle of the park.

Panthers v Sharks: Leota ruled out; Talakai set to return

With seven rounds of the regular season remaining Penrith find themselves eight points clear at the top of the ladder, while the Sharks have climbed to third after beating the Cowboys last up. 

Cronulla are riding a five-game winning streak and will be full of confidence, while Penrith should benefit from refreshing a number of their top line stars last weekend ahead. 

The last time they met in Round 14 last year it was Cronulla who came away with a late 19-18 victory, but prior to that the Panthers won the past four head-to-head clashes. 

Raiders v Warriors: Cotric, Whitehead back; Walsh benched, Pene out

Ricky Stuart's men will go in as hot favourites but they will be wary of taking the Warriors lightly having gone down by a point in round eight when Shaun Johnson got his team home in golden point.

The Warriors sat two games ahead of the Green Machine on the ladder on the back of that victory but they have won just once more since then to slide out of finals contention.

The Raiders' run home is a relatively friendly one and a win on Saturday can catapult them into the eight for the first time since round three.

Dragons v Sea Eagles: Sims back on deck; Triple trouble for Manly

The Dragons have slipped from eighth to 11th in the past two weeks but with back-to-back games at their spiritual home ground they get an ideal opportunity to put themselves back in the mix.

Manly have won four of their past five games and will look to shore up their place in the eight by taking care of the Dragons (11th) and Roosters (9th) in the next two weeks.

Having conceded 86 points in their past two games the Dragons need to put some steel back in their defence if they hope to subdue a potent Sea Eagles side averaging 35 points per game in the past five matches.

Eels v Broncos: Matterson good to go; Origin contingent return

Both clubs sit on 24 competition points leading into round 19 with 11 wins each and are all but bound for the finals after solid seasons so far.

The Eels have still looked a bit wobbly in patches against teams in recent weeks despite wins but remain a threat to any side in the Telstra Premiership. 

Brisbane won a hard-fought Queensland derby against the Titans last start but will want to knock off a top scalp away from home as they look to go to another level in the final weeks of the regular season. 

Specially designed jerseys for country week match

PNGRFL CEO Reatau Rau said the new look jerseys signify that the country week game themed: ‘Get in the Game’, is QRL approved.

“The country week uniforms feature the Morobe colours and has the APEC logo on the chest, which honours the PNGRFL partnership with APEC,” Rau stated.

He further said the jerseys have the traditional warrior and hunter on them.

“The jerseys and shorts will only be worn at this weekend’s country week game in Lae, and auctioned after the match.”