Second-half burst propels Sunshine Coast over Hunters
By QRL Media
The Sunshine Coast Falcons ended the undefeated run of the Hunters in season 2016 with a hard-fought win in front of their home fans on Easter Sunday.
The sides were playing for the Pacific Allies Cup and the two rivals usual produce an entertaining match for fans – and this game was no different.
The Hunters started the better with Watson Boas chasing through a grubber kick ahead to post the first points of the afternoon.
The Falcons were denied twice (with Rowan Klein held up and Alex Bishop having the ball batted out of his hand when he seemed destined to score) – before halfback Ryley Jacks ran through himself for an easy try.
In a tight first half – a penalty goal from Noel Zeming saw the visitors take an 8-6 lead into halftime.
A powerful start to the second half helped the home side propel themselves into a match-winning lead – with an early try to Pat Hollis sparking an inspired period for the Falcons who have now won three of their opening four matches.
His try was followed soon after by one for Klein out wide after some good backline play.
The Falcons then stamped their authority on the game with a second from Jacks, before hooker Nafe Seluini put in a stepping run before scoring next to the uprights to put them out to a 26-8 lead.
The Hunters though ensured there were some nervous moments in the crowd – staging a spirited comeback to close out the match.
From a scrum win, Justin Olam showed his speed to run through a gap and halfway down the field to score, before some thrilling play resulted in Tuvi Lepan running in under the posts.
But it was too little too late for the Hunters who next weekend will travel to Mackay to face the Cutters. The Sunshine Coast will again be at home and will host the Redcliffe Dolphins.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 28 (Ryley Jacks 2, Patrick Hollis, Rowan Klein, Nafetalai Seluini tries; Joe Stimson 2, Ryan Hansen 2 goals) def PNG HUNTERS 20 (Watson Boas, Justin Olam, Tuvi Lepan tries; Noel Zeming 4 goals) at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
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