Sunshine Coast Falcons

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.

Hunters face tough test in away match

Despite coming off a recent loss to premiership leaders Souths Logan last weekend, the Hunters will bring plenty of confidence into this weekend’s fixture following a promising block of games over the last month.  
A stretch of four straight home games at the Santos National Football Stadium gave the Hunters a great opportunity to build into the season. Two big wins over the Tweed Seagulls and Western Clydesdales backed up a narrow loss to finals bound club the Northern Pride and followed by a tough blow against the Magpies.  

Round 17 Match Report: SP PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons

From the opening set it was clear this was going to be a physical contest. Hunters’ forward Sylvester Namo came off the back fence from the kick-off and launched himself into a wall of Sunshine Coast defenders, leaving multiple bodies in his wake including Falcons’ prop Max Bailey who was forced from the field.

With the tone set, both sides got to work as the Sunshine Coast locals watched on.

Round 17 Match Preview: SP PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons

Sunday’s game marks the beginning of the end of a two-and-a-half year relocation period for the Hunters, who have based themselves on the Gold Coast throughout the COVID pandemic. Although momentarily delayed under QRL direction this week, the Hunters are slated to return to Papua New Guinea later this month to play out the remainder of the 2022 Hostplus Cup at the Santos National Football Stadium (NFS) in Port Moresby. Before they think about returning home however, the Hunters have a job on their hands this weekend when they take on the third placed Falcons on Sunday. 

Round 4 Match Preview: SP PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons

The Hunters have made a fair start to the 2022 season, winning their opening game before going down in tightly-fought contests in the last two weeks. In both losses, the Hunters finished strongly to win the second half and the focus is now on starting well against the Falcons this week.

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.

Assistant coach stresses on consistency

Assistant Coach Roderick Puname said the boys need to apply some consistency to the way they play in round 17 of the Intrust Super Cup.

“We stick to consistency with the Falcons. Hold on to the ball, complete sets and getting that kick.”

Coach Puname said last week, the Hunters registered just 30 percent of kicking precision; besides that they did not have enough mental capacity to stay ahead of the match, and succumbed to defeat in the second half.

Hunters’ hard work pays off

The Hunters came from behind to claim a 24-12 victory in the round 16 clash of the Intrust Super Cup competition.

The SP PNG Hunters had anticipated a tough encounter against the 7th-placed Falcons, who were 4 spots ahead of the Hunters after round 15.

The Falcons were the first to score through Jacob Hind, which was successfully converted by Ryan Papenhuyzen.

The score remained at 6-0 until Captain Ase Boas broke the ice 34 minutes into the first half.

A successful conversion from his brother Watson levelled the field for the team.  

Hunters anticipate tough encounter

The Hunters will be going up against the 7th-placed Falcons at the National Football Stadium on Sunday.

The boys are currently ranked 11 out of the 14 teams in the Intrust Super Cup competition.

The Falcons are 4 spots ahead of the Hunters, and Coach Michael Marum admits that this weekend’s match won’t be a walk in the park.

“We played them in round 3 and they beat us by a big margin so they’ll be tough up here,” Marum stated.

“They’ll come up with a stronger side.”

Hunters focus on defence

"We gave away three easy tries last weekend and that's something we've been working on to improve before we travel down," said coach, Michael Marum

"Other things like our kicking game and game plan execution are areas we've been training on during the week."

Marum knows the Falcons will be out for revenge after losing 12-10 to the Hunters in last year's grand final, adding his side will need to lift, especially in defence.

"They've done a lot of changes to their line-up.  They've got a young and strong team.