The Papua New Guinea Hunters remain unbeaten on home soil following a comprehensive 68-4 victory over Central Queensland Capras yesterday.
The Hunters were at their entertaining best, running in 13 tries with skipper Israel Eliab bagging four.
They have now won a club-record nine in a row and haven’t been beaten this season in seven matches at either Kokopo or Port Moresby.
The Hunters last loss came in mid-April to Wynnum Manly at BMD Kougari Oval.
The result sets up an intriguing race for top spot, with PNG leapfrogging Ipswich into second place on the ladder.
They are now just two points shy of the ladder-leading Blackhawks, but must overcome Townsville’s substantial points differential (+352).
Returning to their traditional Kalabond Oval base after a blockbuster move to Port Moresby in their home game prior, the Hunters wasted little time with fullback Stargroth Amean scoring in just the seventh minute.
They crossed six times in the first half, opening a 34-0 lead at the break after Eliab scooped up a loose ball and ran 90m.
Central Queensland crossed early in the second half, but it did little to stem the tide.
The Hunters passed the 60 mark in the 60th minute before Eliab brought up his fourth off an inside ball from Wartovo Puara ten minutes from fulltime.
Centre Noel Zeming slotted eight goals and crossed the line once for a personal haul of 20 points.
Central Queensland have the bye next round, while the Hunters travel to Redcliffe to the meet the Dolphins in Sunday afternoon’s Channel Nine fixture.
PNG HUNTERS 68 (Israel Eliab 4, Stargroth Amean 2, David Lapua 2, Noel Zeming, Ase Boas, Nickson Borana, Willie Minoga, Lawrence Tu’u tries; Noel Zeming 8 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 4 (Lance Kuveu try) at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo.
PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. David Lapua 3. Noel Zeming 4. Thompson Teteh 5. Adex Wera 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Ase Boas 21. Henry Noki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Brandy Peter 12. Timothy Lomai 14. Nickson Borana 15. Atte Bina 16. Willie Minoga 17. Enock Maki 18. Lawrence Tu'u
CQ Capras: 1. Tarrant Mariner 2. Jake Ainsworth 16. Clement Kilangit 4. Ha'Ofanga Rabakewa 5. Lloyd Stiegler 6. Matt Minto 7. Josh Mitchell 8. Gerard Tema 9. Mark Johnstone 10. Gavin Hiscox 11. Tyson White 12. Guy Williams (c) 3. Ian Webster 14. Aaron Watson 13. Corbyn Kilday 17. Lance Kuveu 15. Dylan Webber