Snax Tigers claim PNG title
For those who are interested the rugby league from our neighbours up north - here's a wrap of the Digicel Cup, a competition which has helped produced players who now feature in the Hunters team.
The Lae Snax Tigers are the 2016 Digicel Cup champions after defeating the Agmak Gurias 14-8 in an entertaining and physical affair last weekend.
The boys from Lae, PNG’s second largest city, came out as the champions after 80 minutes of tough football.
They were led by former Hunters hooker Noel Joel and forward David "Locomotion" Loko, who starred for their team as they won their first title under the new Tigers franchise.
The win came two years after falling short of a grand final, but this time it did not let their chance slip away as they went on to clinch their first ever premiership title.
The Agmark Gurias were the defending premiers and they produced some remarkable football, but were not able to claim back-to-back wins.
They are the club of current Hunters coach Michael Marum, and still have a connection to the Intrust Super Cup club, with former Hunter Albert Patak and current squad members Tuvi Lepan and William Aquila.
Aquila scored two tries for his team, but an injury to young Stanley Olo proved costly for the Gurias as they struggled to find their attacking rhythm.
Unfortunately, Papua New Guinea's semi-professional rugby league competition has been marred with spectator violence and security issues by a handful of fans, however the Papua New Guinea National Rugby League (PNGNRL) hosted a spectacular violence-free grand final.
The Gurias paid tribute to a young fan who was killed last week in the aftermath of spectator violence which took place following the game between Mt Hagen Eagles and the Agmark Gurias.
“Conceding what had happened last weekend, (this game) was great for us; it’s a great (advertisement) for the game and it was played in the right spirit,” Hunters CEO Bob Cutmore said.
The Digicel Cup rugby league competition has produced many talented players who have gone on to play in higher competitions like Penrith Panthers Stanton and Wellington Albert, Townsville Blackhawk forward Willie Minoga, Ipswich Jet Sebastian Pandia.
Hunters coach Marum and players like Stargroth Amean, Noel Zeming, Thompson Teteh, Melbourne Storm-bound Justin Olam and Timothy Lomai have also come through the competition.