SP PNG Hunters

Hunters welcome back skipper for Seagulls clash

The Seagulls won their first nine matches in 2021, with their smallest winning margin a 2018 victory against the Hunters in Round 1.

The Seagulls have since lost their past three games while their Brisbane Broncos-contracted players have been unavailable because of the NRL’s COVID bubble.

Hunters Fall Short

The Cutters won 40-30, scoring four tries in 19 minutes in the second half to claw back a deficit before a strong Hunters home crowd.

The Hunters had picked up from where they left off in last weekend’s stunning win over the Northern Pride in Atherton as winger Junior Rau marked his 50th game in style with three tries by the fourth minute of the second half.

Hunters Return To Winning Form

Brandon Nima opened the scoring for the Hunters with a try in the 25th minute that helped to lay the foundation for a memorable night for the Hunters.

Hunters Meet Pride In Country Round

The match goes down in Atherton far North Queensland.

The PNG Hunters are currently on their longest ever losing streak with eight straight losses since entering the Queensland Cup in 2014.

Pride aren’t flying high either at the moment, losing their last two games.

Hunters see a silver lining in this season away from home as they head on their longest road trip of the year, starting with  a two-hour flight to Cairns before transferring to a bus for a 90-minute drive to Atherton for the Intrust Super Cup Country Week clash.

Falcons Run Down Hunters

The Hunters’ first half was among its best in this challenging season of COVID restrictions as forward Benji Kot scored two tries to propel the visitors to a 10-0 lead at the break.

This was the energy that Coach Matt Church had been seeking from a team that has battled injury, illness and the difficulties of living away from Papua New Guinea throughout the year, to ensure the Hunters can take their place in the competition.

Hunters Strengthen Backline

Winger Brendon Gotuno is among the returning players, three months after he broke his arm in the opening minutes of the last clash against the Cutters in Mackay.

The Hunters overcame Gotuno’s injury to sizzle through three tries in 14 minutes in one of the best passages of football since they arrived at their Gold Coast base for the 2021 season.

Since then, the Hunters have dealt with an unlucky injury run that has tested their depth away from home.

Bire Undergoes Treatment

Bire was unwell at training at the Hunters’ Runaway Bay base, medical assistance was sought immediately and was taken to hospital for assessment and treatment.

Bire is receiving the best care possible in one of Queensland’s best hospitals. The Hunters are awaiting further news of his condition.

His family has been notified of his condition and the Hunters management are in constant contact with them.

Hunters Test Devils

The final 38-22 scoreline did not reflect the stern test that the Hunters handed out to the Devils, who led by only four points approaching the final 20 minutes of the match.

A spark from Brandon Nima, who fielded a Devils kick in his in-goal in the 11th minute, ignited the Hunters’ early run. Nima passed in the in-goal to winger Solo Wane, who raced the length of the field for the Hunters’ first point of the day.

Hunters Retain Team Stability

The Hunters and Blackhawks are each on six competition points with Hunters keen to go in front with a home victory at their Runaway Bay Seagulls base to put them back within the top eight.

Hunters coachSP PNG Hunters coach Matt Church has had the luxury of making only one change to his team for Saturday’s Intrust Super Cup clash.

Hunters focus on defensive results

The Hunters have help on the way with some key players returning for the clash with the eighth-placed Dolphins following last weekend’s bye.

The Hunters surged through a three-game winning streak in the early rounds with one of the best defensive records in the Intrust Super Cup before injuries and suspensions left them with only 17 and 18 players to select from for their last two matches.