The Hunters were first to score through prop Enoch Maki and Justin Olam to take the half-time lead to 12 - 0. The second-half saw the emergence of the Baruni tearaway Gahuna Silas asserting his presence at the 47’ minute when he zeroed in on an inside ball from Stargroth Amean on the right edge for a runaway try. 11 minutes later partner in crime Wartovo Puara Jr showed a bit of his own magic with a further right edge splurge when he jinked his way through with a neat show and go to leave Charlie Galo, Rowen Klein and Samuel Wright dumbfounded.
Then a loose carry from Falcons prop Martin Cordwell leads to full-back Bland Abavu being rewarded with a four pointer after scooting from dummy-half over the retiring Ben Nakubuwai to lead 28-0. Ase Boas further added salt to the wound on the Falcons left edge defence when he slipped through Jacob Samoa and Klein to set up Olam for his second try.
The visitors finally broke through on the final hooter through winger Tony Tumusa. With the return of a near full compliment Hunters forward pack, made their going forward easier through the efforts of Maki, Esau Siune, Henry Wan, Timothy Lomai, Benjamin Hetra, Brandy Peter and Warren Glare standing out in a great team effort. Noel Zeming’s five from six conversions also marked his return to the frey as well. Coach Michael Marum said the win brings back confidence in the side, especially with the return of several players from suspension and injury. However Marum is now sweating on key players Adam Korave and Stargroth Amean, who were cited yesterday, but nevertheless is still confident they don’t lose much with several players also pushing to return if they are not available. Both finished fourth (Hunters) and fifth. Third placed Townsville Blackhawks will play sixth placed East Tigers. While minor premiers Redcliffe Dolphins and second-placed Burleigh Bears take a break this weekend, before they play-off for a September 25 grand-final shot the following weekend.
The Hunters will meet the Falcons again in the elimination final next week at the National Football Stadium.