By QRL Media
The PNG Hunters fought back from a 12-4 halftime deficit to snatch a come-from-behind win over the Northern Pride in Round 16.
Played at Barlow Park in Cairns, it is always a good contest between these two sides, and yesterday’s Saturday night game proved no different.
The home side got the scoring underway, with Mareeba halfback Conner Jones making the most of his call-up to the Intrust Super Cup team going over to score after only two minutes of play.
They were in again just for minutes later when forward Sheldon Powe-Hobbs took a short ball close to the line and was not going to be stopped on his way down to the try line.
It took the Hunters until the 25th minute to respond, and they did so when hooker Wartovo Puara took advantage of a handling error in the in-goal to dart his way to the ball to score.
The defence of both teams held strong until the break.
A penalty conversion with the first 10 minutes of the second half pushed the Pride’s lead out to 14-4 and the signs were looking ominous for the Hunters.
However, Bland Abavu sparked the comeback for the visitors when he was able to make his way over the line in the 47th minute.
The conversion kick from skipper Ase Boas – who missed last weekend’s shock loss to Tweed Heads – was successful, cutting the deficit to 14-10 with 20 minutes still to play.
A great run infield from Israel Eliab resulted in him scoring in the 72nd minute, with firstly a conversion, then successful penalty goal pushing the Hunters out to their winning 18-14 lead.
PNG HUNTERS 18 (Wartovo Puara, Bland Abavu, Israel Eliab tries; Ase Boas 3 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 14 (Connor Jones, Sheldon Powe-Hobbs tries; Jordan Biondi-Odo 3 goals) at Barlow Park.