PNG HUNTERS v IPSWICH JETS
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, September 20 – 3pm* (Channel 9/WIN/NBN)
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head-to-Head: PNG 3, Ipswich 1
Head-to-Head Finals: First game
Finals Record: PNG P1 W0 L1; Ipswich P18 W8 L10
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvJETS
The PNG Hunters and Ipswich Jets face off this weekend for the right to face the Blackhawks in this year’s Intrust Super Cup grand final.
Townsville continued their impressive debut season when they secured their place in the decider following their strong 26-12 win over the Hunters last weekend, making them just the second team (behind the Sunshine Coast in 2009) to make it to the decider in their first year in the competition.
This week will see a battle of the entertainers with the trademark “contract football” style of play from the Jets going head-to-head with the equally exciting style of the Hunters.
While some had questioned the ability of the Jets to win finals football with their high-risk, high-reward style – they have made it to the preliminary final. The last preliminary final they played was in 2002 when they beat Norths 29-26. Cameron Smith was the hooker and goal kicker for Norths that day.
Last weekend, the Jets ended the premiership run of the Easts Tigers in a high-scoring 44-18 victory which featured a record-breaking (for a finals match) five-try haul to NRL-bound hooker Matt Parcell. It was also the most tries by a forward in a game in Cup history, and equalled Donald Malone's Ipswich record.
The Hunters however lost for the first time against the Blackhawks last weekend and will be desperate to get their chance to avenge their loss on the biggest stage of the year. After the match, Hunters coach Michael Marum said his side were guilty of making too many errors – an area they will need to improve on in this match.
Two changes have been made to his side for this must-win game, with Nickson Borana set to start in the backrow and Warren Glare on the bench. Adam Korave and Brandy Peter have been omitted, while David Lapua and Roger Laka have been added to an extended bench.
Skipper Israel Eliab has reportedly caught the interest of NRL clubs and will need to fire this weekend if his side are to progress. Deceptively quick, he requires two tries to equal Garry Lo's PNG season record of 24 last year.
For the Jets, Landon Hayes comes onto the bench, with Liam Capewell moving into the centres to cover for an injured Brandon McGrady.