The 30-20 points victory by the Hunters not only prove its hunt for the premiership title shot in its fourth season into the Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup challenge, but it also gives confidence to its loyal supporters, fans and sponsors back at home.
While East Tigers head Coach Scott Sipple may have blamed the loss on poor ball handling error by his troops as well as the humid climate here in Port Moresby; it was Hunters who were more determined to win its first home game through a solid defense in the first half that laid the foundation.
“It’s tough coming up here in PNG especially the heat and too many drop balls by the boys in the game has let the team down. You can’t expect to win when you continue to drop balls and you got to defend all day and that’s something that let the team down,” Tiger’s head coach Sipple said this after the match.
Hunters who still have yet to show some ball pattern in its attacking moves; the Michael Marum coached side posted three converted tries in the first half all through individual brilliance and not from a set play.
Stanton Albert opened the scoring board from a inside pass by hard working hooker Silas Gauna six minutes into the first half which captain Ase Boas managed to raise the flags to lead 6-0. Tigers tried all it can to register but to no avail as the Hunters put on a solid cover up defence from both sides of the flank that denied any chances for the Tigers from scoring.
Hunters proved its strength again entering Tiger’s try line through man of the match and prop forward Henry Wan on the 23rd minute before crowd pleaser David Loko who was placed on report for a dangerous tackle pushed further in the 31stminute from an Ase Boas pass to score five meters away from the upright which the captain converted well to lead 18-0 at half time.
With much emphasis on ball handling from the Tigers, the Scott Sipple coached side came back determined to topple down the home side in the second half.
However this never came through as time was never on their side despite the second half tries coming from reserve forward Charlie Galo, outside center Shane Neumann and double from inside center Conor Carey.
By then Hunters had already extended its lead through tries from Adex Wera and Israel Eliab where Boas converted both to lead 30-16 before Carey’s unconverted try just on the final hooter to go down 20-30. Source: Post Courier