A big thanks to those who respond to this column through the Hunters Forum, where you have your say on our performance. The players, their families and friends read the forum and we appreciate and value these comments.
Last week, I tried to answer the question on everyone’s lips — What’s happening to the Hunters after losing a record five games straight.
We turned things around with a win in Round 6 against the CQ Capras on Saturday. It took a quarter of the season to get there. It was a solid win but there’s still more work to do. The players have to step up now. Discipline on and off the field is still an issue. I talk to each player to remind them of their roles and responsibilities.
It was a long trip to and from Emerald but I’m proud of the men. They turned up and put in their best effort. I acknowledge the support of our PNG community who attended. They were amazing. They really boosted us. Thank you for being part of our history.
The best part was when the guys forgot the tune and lyrics of our victory song — can you blame them? After a few starts, they got it right. It was a long time and these men realised just how good winning feels.
The confidence is back. The feeling is high but we need to step up again on Saturday when we take on Ipswich Jets — another quality side.
We have played the Jets 10 times since 2014 for seven wins (five at home and two away) and three losses (all away).
We don’t want to create another record by losing our first home game to them and they will step up and give their best effort.
Ase Boas needs seven points to reach the 500-point milestone. He is the club’s top points scorer ending last season with 481 points.
Stanton Albert suffered a serious knee injury playing for the Mendi Muruks last weekend. He is undergoing tests and will be out for about two months. I urge clubs to take players’ welfare and safety seriously.
Ila Alu’s broken elbow suffered in Round 1 does not look like it will get better soon. Results after a review last week don’t look promising. I will update you of progress in the coming weeks.
I understand injuries are part of the game. These injuries are a concern in particular with the senior and experienced players.
Junior Rop has been cautioned by the QRL judiciary on his tackling technique. We are working on this issue.
This weekend is the ‘Colour Rush’ round, an initiative by our uniform supplier — EMU Sportswear and EV2 — and has the blessing of the QRL. The five teams they support in the ISC competition are Hunters who will wear red, Norths (blue), Pride (orange), Wynnum Manly (white) and Blackhawks (green).
This is a one-off event and we encourage everyone attending the game to wear red and support the us.
Saturday’s Q-Cup game will be bookended by two Digicel Cup fixtures making it a tripleheader. The first match kicks off at 12.15pm between the impressive Gulf Isou and Rabaul Gurias.
Following that will be the Hunters v Jets at 3pm followed by the third game of the day sees Port Moresby Vipers host Hela Wigmen.
The Digicel Cup has been good so far so good with most teams winning by small margins and games going down to the wire. Let’s keep that standard rising and take things to another level.
The Hunters have a short turn around after Saturday’s game. We take on Burleigh Bears for the Kokoda Cup next Thursday (April 26) in the ANZAC weekend. The day is a public holiday in Australia celebrating ANZAC Day and we’ll be out to win back the Kokoda Cup from the Bears.
I will be sending next week’s article from Brisbane and will be published on game day.
On behalf of the SP Hunters staff, players and our families, I wish everyone a ‘Happy Easter’.
Until next week, play fair, hard and safe in whatever sport you are taking part in. Good Luck.
Please send your comments, views or questions you may like to raise related to this column to: firstname.lastname@example.org