The PNG Hunters have started the season in emphatic fashion, racking up 40 points against Souths Logan at Davies Park yesterday.
Starting the game with eight debutants, the Hunters took time to adjust, conceding first points after letting a bomb bounce for Souths Logan to pounce upon to score and convert in the opening five minutes.
The Hunters bounced back quickly, surging up field through the heart of the Logan defence before a smart offload by Wartova Puara set up Adam Korave to score next to the posts to level the scores.
Play seesawed between the two sides with the Magpies dominating possession to dive under the posts from dummy half to score and convert 20 minutes into the match.
From there it was all the Hunters, with heavy defence causing turnovers and giving more possession to the talented PNG team.
The next try was simply magic from the Hunters with several offloads in traffic before Stargroth Amean dived over untouched in the corner. Roger Laka converted from the sideline to level the scores at 12-all.
The Hunters were playing with confidence and again burst down the right side running the ball on the fifth tackle in their own half.
Puara offloaded to a flying Thompson Teteh who made a searching run up field before offloading to Laka who turned it inside to Oti Bland Tony to score the first of his two tries for the match under the posts to take the lead 18-12 with 12 minutes left in the half.
The Hunters weren’t finished with however with a scrum packing down right on full time and a smart inside ball from Israel Eliab to a determined Teteh, twisting and turning and beating several defenders to score in a display of blistering speed, strength and determination.
With a 22-12 half-time lead, the Hunters started the second half in similar fashion maintaining possession with Eliab stepping to the fore after impressive lead up work by his inside men to beat two defenders and race 30 metres to score in the corner.
The game was slipping away for South’s Logan as they took the odds to a short kick-off restart, regathering and putting them on the attack, but the strong goal line defence from the Hunters caused a turnover to give possession again back to the visiting team.
It was all the Hunters as they showed a slick set of hands through the backline for Oti Bland Tony to score his second out wide.
The Hunters seemed to be able to break the Logan defence at will with smart work by an unstoppable Katio Ottio before another ensuing attacking raid from Teteh and a no look pass put David Lapua over in the corner for his first try in the Intrust Super Cup for the Hunters.
Scrappy play dominated the next stage of the match with a mountain of possession to Souths eventually seeing Logan’s best player Mitch Garbutt stretch out and score under the posts to bring the score back to 36-18.
The last statement came from Teteh who charged down a kick, regathered and raced 70m to take the fulltime score to 40-18 to the Hunters.
Souths Logan Magpies: 1. Josh Damen 2. Samisoni Vaioleti 3. Mitch Hallinan 4. David Faamita 5. Matt Trnka 6. Dylan Taikato-Simpson 7. Rhys Jacks 8. Andrew Edwards 9. Herschel Gideon 10. Mitch Garbutt 11. Scott Doyle 12. Kailem Perkins 13. Sam Gardel 14. Joe Boyce 15. Travis Waddell 16. Graham Levu 17. Zac Lemberg
PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. David Lapua 3. Thompson Teteh 24. Kato Ottio 5. Edward Goma 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Roger Laka 8. Enock Maki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Henry Noki 11. Willie Minoga 12. Brandy Peter 13. Adam Korave 14. Ase Boas 15. Esau Siune 16. Atte Bina 18. Oti Bland Tony