The Ipswich Jets made the trek to the Hunters’ home ground Kalabond Oval for their Round 13 game, looking for their first win at the ground.
The Jets and Hunters clash brought together two in form teams, with the Jets having won five games in a row (and six away games in a row); while the Hunters had not lost at home all year. They were also chasing a club record of six wins a row.
The Hunters had several changes with Henry Noki, David Lapua and Sebastian Pandia all out of the Hunters’ line-up, while for the Jets Liam Capewell, Brendon McGrady, Kurtis Lingwoodock and Gerico Cecil made way for Richard Pandia, Pat McCallum, Joe Ofahengaue and Chris Ash – meaning there were three Jets players on debut for this game.
The match started well for the Hunters who in the fifth minute saw fullback Stargroth Amean slice through the Jets’ defence and over the line to get the Hunters up 6-0.
The Jets pressed the Hunters’ line with attacking raids, but the Hunters held them out and seemed to gain confidence.
It was the little half and captain Israel Eliab who came up with the big play after the Hunters had been defending; when on his own 30m line he received the ball and set off for the line on a 70m run that saw the Hunters out to a 10-0 lead.
The Hunters’ scheming number 7 Ase Boas was keeping the Jets pinned down and controlling the game with his kicking game. However, it was a careless Hunter’s penalty that saw the Jets gain attacking momentum and Landon Hayes score his first Intrust Super Cup try.
The Hunters were up 10-6 and the Jets had settled into the speed of the game when the Hunters pulled away again through Oti Bland Tony who got the Hunters to a halftime lead of 16-6.
The Jets needed to start the second half well to get back into the game and they achieved this through a try in the 43rd minute to Hayes who was having a strong match.
At 16-12 it was a tight struggle until Timothy Lomai found Brandy Peter with a nice short ball and the Jets couldn’t hold the Hunters who pulled away again 22-12.
With 20 minutes to go, Eliab scored his second try to seemingly take the game out of the Jets’ reach at 28-12.
Marmin Barba had other ideas and scored try number 17 for 2015 to keep the Jets in touch at 28-16.
The Jets chipped away again at the lead when they scored with 10 minutes to go through Jets big bustling bench forward Billy McConnachie the score was now 28-22 and a dramatic finish was on the cards.
The Jets’ Kurt Capewell used his footwork to beat Noel Zeming cold and score his fourth try of the year and it was now 28-28 with eight minutes to go.
It was a hectic last eight minutes and the Hunters broke the game open when Adex Wera busted the Jets and scored a try in the corner to take the Hunters out to 34-28 with five minutes to play.
The Hunters sealed the win with a try after Esau Siune broke the Jets once more and made a 30m run. He found Puara who got the ball onto Lawrence Tu’u to score and end the game with a score 40-28.
The Jets will enjoy the week off this week while the Hunters will take on the Souths Logan Magpies at Port Moresby.
PNG HUNTERS 40 (Israel Eliab 2, Stargroth Amean, Adex Wera, Kato Ottio, Lawrence Tu’u, Brandy Peter tries; Noel Zeming 5, Israel Eliab goals) def IPSWICH JETS 28 (Landon Hayes 2, Marmin Barba, Kurt Capewell, Billy McConnachie tries; Carlin Anderson 3, Marmin Barba goals) at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo.
PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Oti Bland Tony 3. Noel Zeming 4. Thompson Teteh 5. Adex Wera 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Ase Boas 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Kato Ottio 12. Lawrence Tu'u 13. Adam Korave 14. Brandy Peter 15. Edward Goma 16. Willie Minoga 17. Enock Maki 21. Timothy Lomai
Ipswich Jets: 1. Carlin Anderson 2. Marmin Barba 3. Chris Walker 4. Richard Pandia 5. Pat McCallum 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Josh Seage 9. Landon Hayes 10. Rod Griffin 11. Sam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Fakahoko Teutau 21. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Billy McConnachie 19. Chris Ash