With niggling injuries to their front-line players, coach Michael Marum has to come up with the right plan to get his side back on the winning track.
It should not be too hard as the Hunters have only lost one home game in 2014.
Motivation will not be an issue as the side played poorly in their last outing in going down to the Mackay Cutters 20-4 in Mackay in their Round 16 clash last week.
Diminutive rake Wartovo Puara Jr and elusive winger Garry Lo are carrying injuries into this game while prop Joe Bruno, who suffered a badly dislocated finger on his left hand, will watch the match from the sidelines along with Albert Patak and Sebastian Pandia.
The Round 17 match looks to be a tester for the home side’s mettle and character but fans will be buoyed by the thought that the SP Lager-sponsored side will conjure up another special performance in front of a partisan crowd.
“It’s going to be a tough game this weekend against the East Tigers. It was a good game last weekend with the Mackay Cutters 20-4 loss. Our defence held us up to the end. It was impressive.
This weekend we won’t be worried about travelling. We will be at home and expect a good game. We sorted our mistakes during training this week so it should be good,” Marum said.
“Garry (Lo) hasn’t been running during training sessions this week, opting to sit it out but today (yesterday) he was walking around well. We have two more training sessions this afternoon so we can have a better look at our players. All players have gone for their rehab sessions and are cleared. Puara has been cleared for this weekend and the boys are good and expecting a tough match this weekend.”
Marum remained optimistic weighing out his options leading into this weekend’s match with Dion Aiye named to spark play off the pine. Forward leaders Esau Siune and David Loko will be ably assisted by last week’s sole point-scorer George Benson and the mobile Adam Korave.
Hunters at home have proven a formidable attacking side but this weekend will be the toughest yet with injuries compounding the Hunters in the Queensland Cup competition. With Papua New Guinea National Rugby League (PNGNRL) announcing the smooth transfer of players to and from local Digicel Cup competition, Marum can breathe a sigh of relief and set his sights on getting everything right tomorrow.