SP PNG Hunters have been hit with the news that in-form winger Brendon Gutuno will be sidelined for eight weeks with a double arm fracture as they prepare for Saturday’s clash with Sunshine Coast Falcons.
Gutuno, who has been a regular in the Hunters side since 2018, suffered the injury in the third minute of last Saturday’s 26-14 win against the Cutters in Mackay. The 25-year-old had surgery on Monday to repair fractures in different bones in his forearm.
His misfortune has created the opportunity for Norman Brown to make his Intrust Super Cup debut on the wing when the Hunters meet the sixth-placed Falcons at Runaway Bay’s Bycroft Oval.
Brown, 23, played fullback for Hela Wigmen in their Digicel Cup grand final victory against Lae Tigers last October. It was his second grand final victory, proving his experience in pressure matches as he prepares for his Hunters debut.
THE SP Hunters have been forced to make one change to their winning outfit for their Queensland Intrust Super Cup clash with the Cutters in Mackay on Saturday night (6pm kick-off).
Second-rower and vice-captain Keven Appo will miss the game after he was suspended for two matches for a shoulder charge during the Hunters’ 44-22 win over the Ipswich Jets in round 2 before the Easter weekend.
The Hunters defended Appo against a shoulder charge notice and felt they presented a good case of claiming it was a tackle gone wrong with no intent to make contact with the shoulder.
SP PNG Hunters have made the first positive step as they walk a 2021 injury tightrope by naming an unchanged squad for Saturday’s Intrust Super Cup clash with Ipswich Jets.
The same 17 players who almost stunned Wynnum Manly last Saturday have been named by coach Matt Church as part of an extended 21-man squad for the second-round clash at Bycroft Oval at 3pm.
Church has only 24 players in the Hunters’ camp on the Gold Coast during the testing 2021 campaign, which will mirror the Warriors’ NRL effort of 2020 by playing an entire season away from home.
The Papua New Guinea SP Hunters went down fighting 20 - 18 against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in 2021 round 1 match of the Intrust Super Cup.
Hunters coach Matt Church said the best was yet to come from his SP PNG Hunters after they fell just short of a famous win in the opening Intrust Super Cup clash with Wynnum Manly Seagulls today.
The Seagulls survived 20-18 but only after withstanding a storming comeback from the Hunters, who trailed by 12 points at halftime at Bycroft Oval at Runaway Bay.
THE SP Hunters have recruited former New South Wales and Newcastle Knights forward Ben Cross as a coaching consultant for their upcoming Queensland Intrust Super Cup campaign.
The 95-National Rugby League game legend is among three consultants recruited by Hunters boss Matthew Church as he looks to refine his players’ skills and up-skill his coaching staff.
Cross played a total of eight NRL seasons for Canberra, Melbourne and Newcastle before joining the English Super League from 2011-2013.
The other two personnel are high performance manager Jeremy Hickmans and data and video analysis consultant Scott Barker, both of whom served under master NRL coach Wayne Bennett for a total of 34 years at the NRL and representative levels.
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