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THE PNG Hunters scored a comprehensive 56-12 win over the Burleigh Bears in Kokopo on Saturday to keep their hopes for a top five spot alive. 

The Hunters, making their debut season in the Intrust Super Cup this year, have proven that they can attack, piling on points when they play enterprising football.

The match displayed the Hunters’ attacking prowess, complemented by equally impressive defence over two halves – and reaped the rewards in a clinical effort to post what is the club’s biggest win to date.

The 10-tries-to-two victory proved that if the Hunters play the flamboyant style of football in attack that Papua New Guineans are renowned for and back it up with a structured defence, they can be any opposition’s nightmare.

The Hunters were intent on revenge for the 26-22 loss to the Bears in Round 9 in April.

The Bears were not prepared for what the Hunters dished out on their Round 21 clash. In a superb display of breathtaking attacking football the Hunters piled on 10 tries in the wet, controlling the match from the first minute of play which had the Bears chasing their tails all day.

While five-eighth Dion Aiye was named man-of-the-match for guiding the Hunters around the park, the award could have gone to a handful of players in what was a great team effort.

Three players – lock Adam Korave, “excitement machine” Garry Lo and Willie Minoga – all collected doubles.

Captain Israel Eliab scored a try and kicked eight goals for a personal haul of 20 points while centre Thompson Teteh, second-rower David Loko and hooker Wartovo Puara crossed for a try each.

At half-time the Hunters led 34-0 and the question was whether they would continue the dominance in the second half.

It had rained continuously the night before with the skies only clearing just hours prior to kick-off so one would have thought that the slippery conditions would have forced the Hunters to adopt a plan to suit such conditions.

But the Hunters did the opposite – throwing the football around and continuing to grow in confidence each time they got the desired result as the avalanche of points became the order of the day.

The Bears tried to knuckle down and fought back with two quick tries in the second half through centre Brad Tighe and winger Jamie Andersen but squandered valuable possession throughout the match courtesy of aggressive and granite like Hunters defence.

The Hunters will now take on the Norths Devils in another home game at Kalabond Oval next Saturday at 2.30pm.

PNG HUNTERS 56 (Garry Lo 2, Adam Korave 2, Willie Minoga 2, Israel Eliab, Thompson Teteh, Wartovo Puara, David Loko tries; Israel Eliab 8 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 12 (Brad Tighe, Jamie Anderson tries; Khan Ahwang 2 goals) at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo.

Final teams

PNG Hunters: 1. Israel Eliab (c) 2. Garry Lo 3. Thompson Teteh 4. Jason Tali 5. Adex Wera 6. Dion Aiye 7. Roger Laka 8. Timothy Lomai 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. David Loko 12. Sebastian Pandia 13. Adam Korave 14. Noel Zemming 15. Willie Minoga 16. George Benson 17. Brandy Peter

Burleigh Bears: 1. Henare Wells 2. Khan Ahwang 3. Brad Tighe 4. Steve Michaels 5. Jamie Anderson 6. Sam Meskell 7. Matt Beddow 8. Shaun Maloney 9. Dimitri Pelo 10. Matt Bell 11. Dane Clarke 12. Louis Fanene 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 15. Siuatonga Likiliki 16. Francis Veukiso 14. Jared Te’o 18. Chris Kitching