home game at the Kalabond field in Kokopo this coming weekend.
Hunters captain Israel Eliab, 23, said from East New Britain and Manus, at the Queen
Emma Lodge at Takubar, that despite minor injuries, the team was recovering well
and would be in good shape for the match.“We’re three points away from a top
five spot. We’ll have to work hard to get in but we’re not looking ahead we’re
focused on the Jets at the moment, then we will give our best in the next two
games to make the playoffs,” Eliab said.Eliab said the team had found
confidence in bonding during training in the last few days. “Training has
been good and our team spirit is high for this final home match.”He said
from the last three home games, the Sunshine Coast Falcons had been one of their
toughest games and in the end won the match with a field goal.
“Defence wins games and therefore as a team we feel that we need to work on our defence more.
I can’t say we’ve improved as it is an ‘on and off’ thing, sometimes we are good
with our defence and other times we are lacking.”Eliab, who was shifted to
fullback three matches ago, said the transistion has not been easy but it was a
challenge he was enjoying.“It’s challenging for me playing fullback. I am
building my confidence and slowly getting comfortable playing that position,”
the Kumul utility said.
Eliab said with the team winning and with halves Dion Aiye and Roger Laka combining well he could finish the season in the No.1 jersey.
On the Hunters captaincy, Eliab said leading the side was “very
challenging” and not an easy job, especially being a young player.
“It takes a lot of effort trying to get players to follow the game plan, and the
fact that I am younger than most them often does not help, but it has been a
good experience. I just have to find it in me to be a good and influential team
leader,” he said.
Eliab said Hunters coach Michael Marum played no favourites
and was firm when he needed to be but encouraged players to fulfil their
potential through training hard and learning the game.
“He has everyone’s respect and we all want to do our best because we believe in his plans and
structure.” The National