The PNG Hunters defeated the Central Queensland Capras 30-10 in their Round 17 clash in Port Moresby, in a match were star fullback Stargroth A mean scored hat- trick.
As usual, the PNG Hunters were full of energy in the opening minutes as prop Esau Siune made; a break only for Capras fullback Maipele Morseau to knock the ball down to prevent the potential try.
However, ball security was a problem for both of the teams and both had a high error rate with strong defence putting on the pressure for both sides.
The Hunters were the first side to score through centre Willie Minoga; thanks to a Ase Boas short ball inside the 10m line after error from Capras invited them in.
The visitors hit back in the 23rd minute via winger Ken Tofilau following some good work from centre Justin Tavae to put his winger on space. Krys Freeman converted the try to level the scores.
From there on, it was all arm wrestle until interchange back Butler Morris sprinted 50m before finally brought down. On the next play, the Hunters shifted the ball wide – only for CQ five-eighth Reece Baker to make a try saving tackle on Amean.
At halftime, the scores remained locked at 6-6.
The arm wrestle continued into the second half with Hunters forward Wellington Albert leading his forwards from the front.
However, it was the visitors who scored first via Victor Halfpenny who crashed over to score and give his side the lead.
Boas was having some success with his torpedo bombs and he troubled Morseau who knocked on. On that scrum play, Israel Eliab stepped passed defenders to score near the uprights with 20 minutes remaining.
The Hunters scored again via Amean, with Boas assisting him get the try after a big tackle from David Loko forced an error.
Hunters scored again; with Amean scoring his second, after challenging for a bomb. He came down with it and scored under the posts with Boas again converted the try.
The final try was also Amean’s hat-trick and came after an inside-out ball from Boas, who put his in-form fullback in under the posts.
Next week, the Hunters host the Burleigh Bears; while the Capras are at home against Wynnum Manly.
PNG HUNTERS 30 (Stargroth Amean 3, Willie Minoga, Israel Eliab tries; Ase Boas 5 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 10 (Ken Tofilau, Vic Halfpenny tries; Krys Freeman goal) at National Football Stadium, Port Moresby.