SP PNG Hunters

Jiwaka native impresses

The Jiwaka native who made a move to join the East New Britain franchise Gurias last season was just the impetus, he needed to get a second shot at making the Hunters, after missing out
in 2019.

Voted Five-eight of the Year at the 2022 Digicel Cup Awards Night, Saki believes it’s a divine blessing from above making the Hunters final cut. It was second time lucky for him, after falling
short of making the team in 2019 under Matt Church.

Hunters in for more opposed sessions

He will try out combinations and game awareness, and how the boys can stay focused under fatigue and pressure.

That’s the strategy to get the team mentally and physically ready before they play Capras.

After nine grueling weeks of preseason training, Tepend is impressed and excited with the prospects that the current squad can bring to the table this season.

Hunters confirm match against Capras

PNG Hunters Head Coach, Stanley Tepend in an official announcement today confirmed date before the 2023 Hostplus Cup season proper kicks off on March 11, 2023.

Tepend said this is exciting for the new boys to get a first taste of what to expect in the QRL competition when the season kicks off.

Capras have a strong connection with PNG since securing the services of former Hunters, Nixon Putt and McKenzie Yei among others.

Hunters build capacity

Since Coach Stanley Tepend took over the reign from Matt Church he’s now diversified the team’s training program to include capacity building for the Hunters the training staff to enhance their work as well.

While the primary focus is on players’ developments and creating pathways for emerging homegrown PNG players at the NRL second tier elite level.

Coach Tepend believes upskilling local trainers and support staff with the latest training technics and knowledge to keep up with the rest of the world is vital.

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.

Mavoko keeping in the grind

Jamie only played one season with the Lae Snax Tigers in 2021 Digicel Cup before he was slated in the Hunters squad last year.

Of mixed East New Britain and Manus parentage, Jamie is ready to dorn the Hunters strip with pride again this year after making it back into the squad for the 2023 season.

Jamie who grew up around the Konedobu area is the son of former Port Moresby Brothers rugby league legend, Wilson Mavoko. His short playing career only started three to four years ago with his beloved Kone Storms team participating in the Port Moresby Rugby League competition.

Hunters training intensifies

Upon their return from the Christmas break training has intensified with more emphasis on defense and endurance which will set the platform for the second period of their preseason training.

Since preseason training resumed last week, Coach Stanley Tepend and Assistant Paul Aiton have been impressed with the attitude and commitment shown by the players especially their work ethics at every training session which has been intense and challenging.

Hunters yet to confirm trial

Speaking at yesterday’s Hunters media session,Tepend outlined the team’s strategy for the next seven weeks including inviting a Hostplus Cup team to come up to Port Moresby for a trial game towards the end  February.

When giving a snapshot on this year’s Hostplus Cup draw, Tepend said the Hunters will open their campaign this year with back to back away games against Clydesdales and Magpies on March 12th and 18 respectively.

The Hunters first home game will be on March 25 against Brisbane Tigers at the National Football Stadium.

Hunters earn crack at Dolphins pre-season

This arrangement is part of a strategic partnership between the SP PNG Hunters and the Dolphins NRL club which aims to get more local players of Papua New Guinea into the NRL Competition. 

The four Hunters players - Judah Rimbu, Rodrick Tai, Sherwin Tanabi and Emmanuel Waine - began training with the Wayne Bennett-coached Dolphins this week and will be working towards earning a fulltime NRL contract over the next eight weeks of preseason. 

A new pathway begins

This arrangement is part of a strategic partnership between the SP PNG Hunters and the Dolphins NRL club which aims to get more local players from Papua New Guinea into the NRL competition.

The four Hunters players, Judah Rimbu, Rodrick Tai, Sherwin Tanabi and Emmanuel Waine, began training with the Wayne Bennett-coached Dolphins this week and will be working towards earning a fulltime NRL contract over the next eight weeks of preseason.