PNG fans meet the Easts Tigers players after Saturday's game. Photo: PNG Hunters Facebook
The Easts Tigers returned home from Papua New Guinea with more than just the two competition points on the weekend.
Tigers coach Craig Ingebrigtsen described the trip to Kokopo as an amazing “life experience”.
“I was rapt to get the points because it’s a really hard place to go over and win at. But the biggest thing we got out of the trip was the respect for the local community.
“We did the walk through the markets and it was a real eye opener to see how the rest of the world live.”
Without a number of front-liners, the Tigers lifted in the energy-sapping humidity to come away with a tenacious 22-16 victory at Kalabond Oval.
Experienced trio Jacob Ling, Shane Neumann and Dane Hogan led the charge, while talented winger Jarrod McInally provided the finishing touches with two tries.
Despite the oppressive conditions, the Tigers got “stronger and stronger” as the match wore on.
PNG took a 12-10 lead into half-time, but Ingebrigtsen was always confident they could come out on top.
“We defended really well and they got a little frustrated,” he said.
“We just sort of stifled their attack and got real good numbers in tackles. Even though we were down 12-10 at half time, I was really confident we could win.”
Easts have the bye this weekend, while the Hunters will travel to Cairns to play the Northern Pride at Barlow Park.
EASTS TIGERS 22 (Jarrod McInally 2, Dane Chang, Shane Neumann tries; Liam Tyson 3 goals) def PNG HUNTERS 16 (Edward Goma, David Loko, Willie Minoga tries; Noel Zemming 2 goals) at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo.
PNG Hunters: 1. Adex Wera 18. Buiku Tiger Emere 3. Noel Zemming 4. Thompson Teteh 5. Edward Goma 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Roger Laka 8. Timothy Lomai 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. George Benson 12. David Loko 13. Adam Korave 14. Dion Aiye 15. Willie Minoga 20. Sebastian Pandia 17. Brandy Peter
Easts Tigers: 1. Eddie Tautali 2. Dane Chang 3. Shane Neumann 4. Hymel Hunt 5. Jarrod McInally 6. Jacob Fauid 7. Liam Tyson 8. Steven Thorpe (c) 9. Tom Butterfield 10. Felise Kaufusi 11. Dane Hogan 12. Dwayne Craft 13. Jacob Ling 14. Liam McDonald 15. Foisa Peni 16. Troy Giess 17. Geoff Holcombe