“The effort just wasn't there.”
This is what a disappointed PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum had to say after his side’s 38-22 loss last night to the Central Queensland Capras in Rockhampton.
The Hunters just had to win to hold onto their spot in the top six; but they came undone by a spirited Capras side who had nothing to lose and impressed their home fans in their final game of the season.
The win sends outgoing Capras coach Kim Williams out on a high and will give newly appointed mentor David Faiumu plenty to work with in season 2019.
For the Hunters however, the loss has their finals hopes hanging by a thread.
"We're now sweating on results; hoping the Jets lose to the Devils today for us to stay in the top six," Marum said.
The Devils game against the Jets will kick off at Bishop Park at 3pm today, with scores available via QRL Live.
Trailing 28-10 at the break, the Hunters fought hard in the second half to reduce the deficit; but poor defence allowed the home side to capitalise and end their season on a high.
Both Chanel Seigafo and Bill Cullen crossed for two tries apiece, while Connor Broadhurst was successful with five out of six conversion attempts and also piloted over two penalty goals.
Marum was left to lament a poor effort in defence; something that had previously gotten the Hunters into a position to press for a finals berth after an inconsistent start to the season.
"Our goal line defence was terrible,” he said. “In the end, they played as team and we didn't.
“It was a disappointing loss."
CQ CAPRAS 38 (Chanel Seigafo 2, Bill Cullen 2, Maipele Morseau, Jack Madden tries; Connor Broadhurst 7 goals) def PNG HUNTERS 22 (Wartovo Puara, Ase Boas, Thompson Teteh, Watson Boas tries; Watson Boas 3 goals) at Browne Park.
(Photo: File Image from when the Hunters hosted the Capras in Round 11, 2018)