THE PNG Hunters have continued their fairy-tale run with a comprehensive 46-14 win over Central Queensland Capras at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo.
That victory maintained the Hunters’ 100 percent record of three wins from three games and should push them to near the top of the Intrust Super Cup premiership table.
It was also the highest winning margin for the Papua New Guinea side, sending out early signals that the newcomers in Australia’s second-tier competition are going to be increasingly difficult to run down when teams allow them to set the tempo of the match.
While there were patches of the game that were mistake-riddled and areas that coach Michael Marum would obviously work hard to remove from future performances – when the Hunters controlled the football – the home side was seemingly unstoppable.
At half-time when the score was 22-10 a possible fight back by the Capras looked promising when winger Rhys Williams scored the first try in the second stanza to reduce the deficit to 22-14.
But that became a daunting task when interchange player Noel Zemming scurried over for a try and started nailing the extras with a better goal kicking show.
The Hunters just grew in confidence and shifted into a higher gear with some punishing defence to the joy of the crowd which was a huge improvement, mainly due to the better weather conditions compared to last week’s rain affected match.
With about 10 minutes on the clock the Hunters were safely home 40-14 and it was a case of whether they could push past the half-century mark – which was in sight if it wasn’t for some dropped balls when the last pass didn’t stick.
“It wasn’t a good day for us,” Capras coach Jason Hetherington lamented after the game before they caught their charter flight to return home via Cairns.
“We paid the price.”
Hunters coach Michael Marum enjoyed the win like the many others which included Minister for Sports Justin Tkatchenko and Governor Ereman ToBaining Jnr who officiated before the kick-off.
“We’ll watch the video (of the game) and analyse the errors,” Marum said.
Gonzela Urakasie had to be rushed into the side late in the week due to an injury to prop Timothy Lomai, but didn’t disappoint. Esau Siune was a handful in attack when he came off the bench.
PNG HUNTERS 46 (George Benson 2, Noel Zemming 2, Adex Wera, Thompson Teteh, Roger Laka, Willie Minoga tries; Noel Zemming 6, Roger Laka goals) def CQ CAPRAS 14 (Rhys Williams 2, Grant Rogers tries; Theeran Pearson goal) at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo.