The PNG Hunters defeated the South Logan Magpies 12-8 at the National Football Stadium to maintain their position at the top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
It was a hard-fought arm wrestle where both sides scored two tries apiece but superior goal-kicking from Hunters captain Ase Boas guided his side home.
The home side opened the scoring at the 17-minute mark after a good backline play saw winger Bland Abavu cross the line near the corner post. Boas slotted the key conversion and the Hunters were up 6-0.
However, in an example of the poor handling that plagued the Hunters, Israel Eliab dropped a Watson Boas cutout ball, giving the Magpies an attacking opportunity.
And poor discipline gave Souths Logan another attacking opportunity and they capitalised with a good second-man play. Magpies fullback Jamayne Isaako threw a good pass for his winger Luke Archer to score, but the conversation was unsuccessful.
The arm wrestle continued until the halftime and neither team were able to break through, giving the Hunters a 6-4 lead.
The second half begin in a similar manner to the first, with the Hunters going straight on attack in the Magpies territory – only to be cruelled by poor ball security.
The back-and-forth slog for ascendancy continued until the Hunters were able to score again, this time via centre Eliab who struck following some good backline play from his team.
Boas converted for a 12-4 lead with just 20 minutes left.
The last quarter produced some exciting play, as the Magpies throw the ball around in the hunt for points, ushering a quiet around the ground as the PNG fans nervously willed their team to a win.
With just 10 minutes left, Isaako broke the Hunters defence when he crossed over for the visitors after the errors from the Hunters invited them in.
His conversion was again unsuccessful and the Hunters held on for a close 12-8 victory.
PNG HUNTERS 12 (Bland Abavu, Israel Eliab tries; Ase Boas 2 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 8 (Luke Archer, Jamayne tries) at National Football Stadium, Port Moresby.