Bennett, who is a former Magpies coach and won a Q-Cup premiership in 1985, told PNG Rugby Football League chief executive officer Bob Cutmore that he was impressed with how Michael Marum’s side handled themselves at Davies Park. The Hunters led 12-10 at halftime and despite a committed performance from the Magpies, were able to grab two points from their first hit-out in 2016.
Cutmore made special mention of debutants Justin Olam and Benjamin Hetra, who stood out in the 18-point win.
Hunters have clean record against the Magpies, beating the southern Brisbane side comfortably in their five matches played since 2014: 42-12, 44-14 (2014), 40-18, 34-12 (2015) and 36-18 (2016).
The Magpies have produced Australian rugby league stars including Queensland and Australian Kangaroos great Mal Meninga, Gary Belcher and Peter Jackson.
Bennett has contributed to helping the Hunters cause, with coach Michael Marum spending a week with the club last month to learn from the coaching staff of the club.
Cutmore has a close relationship with Bennett, having been involved with the Broncos since the club’s formative years in 1988 and was chief operating officer of Broncos Leagues Club in 2015 before taking on the PNGRL chief executive officer’s job in October last year.
He said one of his priorities was to establish development and talent identification programmes for players in PNG, who are being recruited by Australian and UK clubs in growing numbers.
Bennett's brother Bob coached PNG Kumuls from 1996-2005. The National