COACH Matthew Church wants his SP Hunters to start well when they host Brisbane Tigers in round three of the Hostplus Cup at Bycroft Oval on the Gold Coast on Sunday (2.10pm kick-off).
Church told The National yesterday that changes to the line-up were necessary after a poor start in their 16-26 loss to hosts Central Queensland Capras at Browne Park in Rockhampton.
The Australian has moved Roderick Tai from centre to second-row while forward Benji Kot, who was dropped last week, makes his return at centre.
In other changes, fullback Terry Wapi has been dropped and Waghi Tumbe youngster Matthew Jesse will make his club debut at No.1.
“Matthew was going to be our round-one fullback, but he picked up a suspension in the trial match,” Church said. “Wapi had the first couple of rounds to retain the jersey, but there are parts of his game that we need him to be better at, so Matthew gets his chance this weekend.
“Roderick and Benji are both centres, but we want Roderick to be more involved, so we are getting him closer to the action.”
Church said former Kimbe Cutter Anthony Worot would also make his debut.
“Anthony Worot replaces Samuel Yegip who picked up a suspension from last weekend’s match,” he said.
“Anthony is excited to debut for the Hunters, he is a happy character around camp and you can’t wipe the smile off his face.
“Our goal is to start the game well, controlling the ball and building pressure against the Tigers.”
Meanwhile, the Tigers will feature National Rugby League-experienced players in Bessie Toomaga, Marion Seve and Gerard Beale.
Papua New Guinea international Daniel Russell will start in the second row for the Tigers.
The Hunters lost 16-40 to the Tigers in round 6 last season.
The National / PNG Hunters News
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