PNG PRIME Minister James Marape has challenged the SP Hunters to play well for the country.
He is positive they can bring the Queensland Intrust Super Cup title home.
Marape said that when farewelling the Hunters at Jackson International Airport in Port Moresby yesterday.
The Hunters will be based in Queensland for the upcoming season.
This is because of Covid-19 protocols that limit the movement of players between Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Marape said the country was proud that the Hunters’ management had selected and assembled the best squad for the upcoming season.
He said the entire country, PNG Rugby Football League (PNGRFL), sponsors Kumul Petroleum, National Gaming Control Board and South Pacific Brewery were right behind the Hunters.
By Timothy Lomai (Former Hunters Player)
I'd say we went to hell and back. We did it the hard way; we were what you may call the lab rats. We trained 3 times a day, with the gym at 6 am ball skills at 11 and fitness at 3pm in the arvo. We had 2x bread and an egg in the morning for breakfast or cereals, preferably. We had apple, bananas and sandwiches for lunch and rice and mince for dinner.
At some stage, we were asked to brainstorm what we gonna name this new team. Some say PNG Vipers, and others suggest other names. Finally, a name was birthed, and it stood to what it is now, HUNTERS. It seemed as though it started with little to no funding but from some generous people's pockets. It was very tough going through those gruelling month's. As they say, the beginning is always challenging, but it only gets better as time goes by. It was all worth the pain, grind and sweats.
The Papua New Guinea Hunters rugby league team is staying positive despite three failed attempts to relocate to Australia.
34 players and management staff have been been in a quarantine bubble in central Port Moresby for the past 11 days as they await approval to travel to Queensland to compete in the Intrust Super Cup.
Their latest attempt was delayed when Queensland Health Authorities said the squad must complete 14 days in quarantine after one person tested positive for Covid-19.
Hunters coach Matt Church said they were doing everything they could could to minimise the risks.
Eleven new faces – Jokedi Bire, Norman Brown, Edwin Ipape, Benji Kot, Sylvester Namo, Gilmo Paul, Solomon Pokare, Judah Rimbu, Jefferey Robert, Solo Wane and Samuel Yegip – have been named in the Final SP PNG Hunters squad for the 2021n Queensland Intrust Super Cup season.
They join Stanton Albert, Ila Alu, Keven Appo, Ase Boas, Casey Dickson, Brendon Gotuno, Joe Joshua, Epel Kapinias, Enock Maki, Brendan Nima, Stanley Olo, Mark Piti, Wartovo Puara Jnr, Junior Rau, Junior Rop, Charlie Simon, Emmanuel Waine and Terry Wapi in the final squad announced in Port Moresby today.
SP Hunters coach Matthew Church said the squad was selected on the way they wanted to play this season.
Former Papua New Guinea Kumul Captain Paul Aiton has been appointed as the SP PNG Hunters Assistant Coach for the 2021 ISC competition.
“Paul Aiton was Kumul No.214, a former captain represented PNG on 12 occasions and has more than 250 games experience at NRL and Super League level,” said acting CEO of PNGRFL Stanley Hondina.
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