The South Pacific Brewery-sponsored team thrashed the South Logan Magpies 44-14 at Davies Park in Brisbane, to keep their finals hopes alive, albeit depending on next week’s results.
The win saw the Hunters move to 31 points, however they are still in sixth spot after the Tweed Heads Seagulls beat the Sunshine Coast Falcons 26-4 and the Ipswich Jets, despite losing 30-6 to the Northern Pride, keep their noses in front on 32 points.
That means Round 26 results for the Jets and the Seagulls will decide whether Michael Marum’s men play finals football in 2014.
The Hunters are on the bye in the final round.
A more polished performance in contrast to last week’s losing effort was complemented by Garry Lo scoring his 24th touchdown in the nine-try rout.
Hunters had it all their own way leading 28-4 at halftime.
The Hunters despite missing five conversions, which would have pushed their score to 54, had a number of their players limping after the match, had several players take conversion attempts.
Hunters opened the scoring with centre Jason Tali, pictured, scoring the first of his two tries and captain Israel Eliab converting for a 6-0 lead in the third minute.
Hunters looked threatening in the opening minutes but Souths Logan, after gaining good field position through a penalty, hit back with a try to Dallas Anderson but Luke Archer missed the sideline conversion for the Hunters to keep the lead 6-4 after 12 minutes.
Hunters halfback Roger Laka picked up a lose ball to feed centre Thompson Teteh to score against the run of play in the 17th minute
Eliab notched another hightlight reel try gathering an attacking kick in his in goal to race more than a 100-metres to score under the posts and convert his own try for an 18-4 lead.
Following a fantastic set, a no-look short ball by Laka saw a flying Tali latch onto the ball at high speed to score his second try with reserve Noel Zeming adding the extras for a 24-4 lead with three minute left on the clock.
Backrower Sebastian Pandia threw a cutout pass to Albert Patak, who dove over on the stroke of halftime.
Eliab missed the conversion to leave the Hunters in a commanding position at 28-4.
The Hunters were not going to give the home side a sniff, with Lo adding to his impressive season’s tally of tries.
The visitors literally ran away with the game with Zeming, Pandia and Lawrence Tu’u scoring unconverted tries and giving themselves a glimmer of hope to sneak into the top five.
Adam Korave, Dion Aiye and Elaib left the field with injuries late in the second half but by then the game had already been won.
Magpies managed two tries through Daniel Tamou and Mitch Cronin, in the second stanza to put some respectability to the scoreline.
Souths Logan Magpies 14 (Dallas Anderson, Mitch Cronin, Daniel Tamou tries; Brandon Khuu con) PNG Hunters 44 (Jason Tali 2, Israel Eliab, Garry Lo, Thompson Teteh, Sebastian Pandia, Noel Zemming, Albert Patak, Lawrence Tu’u tries; Israel Eliab 2, Roger Laka, Noel Zemming con). HT: 28-4 (Hunters) at Davies Park, Brisbane.