In the 79th minute of the game of last weekend’s game against Burleigh; Adex Wera ran back to collect a Burleigh kick from inside his own 40, turned to the opposing try line, pumped his legs and ran.
Despite the chasers, he was able to plant the ball down in the right hand corner of the in-goal – and in the process, made history as the first PNG Hunter to score 50 tries for the club.
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Wera – from Goroka, in Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea – is a foundation player for the club and has been a loyal and consistent contributor for the side since they first entered the competition in 2014.
A versatile player, who while most effective at fullback, can also play wing – but he has been named by coach Michael Marum to play at centre in this weekend’s must-win match against the Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park.
“Adex is one of our last foundation players from 2014 ... from an ordinary settlement boy from Goroko up in the Eastern Highlands to a local hero kids look up to when we play with his attacking skills and try scoring abilities,” Marum said of the PNG Kumuls representative.
“He’s developed to be one of the leaders in the playing group where he provides a lot of support to the new players.
“(He) doesn’t complain much and gets his job done at training and game day.”
In a notable period for the club, Wera was not the only player to celebrate a key milestone in recent weeks; with skipper Ase Boas (pictured above) surpassing former leader Noel Zeming to be the top point scorer for the Hunters, with 449.
Fittingly, the club makes sure everyone is aware of the achievements of the playing group and acknowledges the milestones accordingly.
“We have records of all our players’ stats yearly and every week, we update after each game,” Marum said.
“I put out whenever milestones for any player occurs.”
While coach Marum is very good at keeping track of records – one thing he was not able to answer was the whereabouts of Wera’s headgear.
Almost a cult figure as a member of the headgear crew in the Intrust Super Cup – in recent weeks Wera has been sporting a bare head, initially causing some confusion with fans.
“Not sure where the head gear went, I think he lost it ... I’ll ask him tonight!” Marum said.
- Ase Boas with 449 points (including 10 points in the 2017 Intrust Super Championship played on NRL grand final day) is now the top point scorer for the Hunters, passing former skipper Noel Zeming.
- Adex Wera last week became the first player to score 50 tries for the Hunters (including one scored in the 2017 Intrust Super Championship played on NRL grand final day).
*PNG Hunters statistics via Brad Tallon