Willie Minoga, described as the ‘freight train’ by commentators calling the SP PNG Hunters games this year has been nominated for this year’s Intrust Super Cup Peoples Choice Award.
Hunters CEO Brad Tassell said that they had several options but opted for Minoga as other players were in the running for other awards.
All Intrust Super Cup teams were asked to nominate a key player for the award with voting starting on Sunday, August 24, 2014.
Progressive voting tallies will be kept under wraps, with the winner of the People's Choice Award to be unveiled at the QRL Gala Dinner at Brisbane City Hall on Wednesday, September 10.
“This is the ideal opportunity for the many Hunters fans to get behind Willie (Minoga) so that we can have as many of our players in the running to win the categories available,” Tassell said.
“At the moment Israel Eliab is highly in contention for the prestigious Player of The Year award. Barring any exceptional performances this weekend Garry Lo looks to have wrapped up the Top Try Scorer award and would certainly be high on the list for Rookie of the Year voting. We have the biggest fan base of any team in the Intrust Super Cup so we ask for all of our supporters to get online and vote for Willie for the Peoples Choice Award. Both he and Garry Lo have definitely been fan favourites this year.”
The SP Hunters are on bye this weekend, Round 26 so will await the results of the two games involving Ipswich Jets and Tweed Heads – who are playing different teams. Both teams sit above the sixth-placed Hunters, who are on 31 points but are guaranteed two points from the bye so a top five spot depends on this weekend’s results.
Other categories are decided by the referees and other panellists but the Peoples Choice Award is determined by the general public through their votes.
Northern Pride’s Hezron Murgha was the inaugural recipient of the award last year.
Voting closes at midnight on Sunday, September 7.
Multiple entries submitted by the same person will not be accepted.
A lucky fan selected from a random draw will win two tickets and a food and drinks package valued at $150 to the September 28 Intrust Super Cup grand final at Suncorp Stadium.
See the attached release to view the nominees and for voting details, or click here:
THE return of Esau Siune, pictured, to the Hunters for Saturday’s match
against the Sunshine Coast Falcons will bolster a forward pack that was run
ragged last match.
The Hunters’ middle third was a highway for Tweed Heads
forwards as the new combinations were unable to keep up the intensity.
As a result the Hunters found themselves on the backfoot at crucial stages and the
points kept piling up, eventually breaching the half-century mark.
Getting the Hunters back to some kind of parity in that department should not be a
problem for workaholic Siune who averages more hit ups than tackles.
The 26-year-old had to wait four rounds before cementing a starting berth and
stats-wise is one of Michael Marum’s best front-rowers.
The Kundiawa man has a knack for featuring at least once in every set when he is on the field
and has been known to take two hit ups in one set, such is his thirst for the
collisions that are an occupational hazard for his position.
Although he can be prone to handling errors, Siune’s importance as the mainstay of the pack is
He is joined by another talented player in Timothy Lomai, while
19-year-old Stanton Albert, who has been named on an extended bench could
complete a three-prop rotation system.
Marum has tried various combinations in the front-row so far this season but arguably all those combinations worked well when Siune was one part of the eaquation.
The other stars in the pack that are expected to shine this weekend are David Loko, who is back to the second-row, Sebastian Pandia, Adam Korave and impact forward Willie Minoga.
NOTED try scorer Thompson Teteh returns to the SP PNG Hunters starting side this weekend, partnering Jason Tali in the centres with Noel Zemming dropping back to a utility role on the bench.
Coach Michael Marum has virtually a full contingent of players to choose from this weekend with only Joe Bruno remaining on the clubs injury list.
Marum has urged the community to support the team in big numbers this weekend.
“We have four important home games in a row now and we need everyone to get to the games starting this weekend to show their support of the team.
“I’m not interested in the negativity from people who claim to be supporters but are only there when we are winning,” Marum said.
“That’s not what true support is –we are going through a tough period right now and that’s when we need our people to stand up and be behind the team.
“It’s not mine or anyone else’s team alone – it is our team, each and every one of us.
“All of the coaches, management, staff and players are working extremely hard everyday and we are a very close knit group.
“Training was very good today and we are looking forward to getting back home in front of our home crowds.”
Timothy Lomai returns to the front row to partner Esau Siune who returns from injury, with Loko dropping back to his favoured position in the second row.
Albert Patak also returns from injury to the extended bench.
The Hunters play their next four matches at home and will be looking to string consecutive wins together to force their way back into the top five, however face a rejuvenated Sunshine Coast Falcons.
Despite their position on the table the Falcons registered their first win of the season against Redcliffe last weekend and will be on a high leading into this weekends must win, crunch match for the Hunters.
The match kicks off at 2.30pm on Saturday at Kalabond Oval Kokopo.
The match will be telecast live on Digicel TV available on Hitron and EMTV.
A free child ticket offer applies to all adult tickets sold for the match.
All fans are encouraged to get to the match in big numbers to support the team in the vital clash this weekend.
The full squad (two to be omitted) is: 1. Israel Eliab, 2. Garry Lo, 3. Thompson Teteh, 4. Jason Tali, 5. Adex Wera, 6. Dion Aiye, 7. Roger Laka, 8. Timothy Lomai, 9. Wartovo Puara, 10. Esau Siune, 11. David Loko, 12. Sebastian Pandia, 13. Adam Korave. Interchange: 14. Noel Zemming, 15. Willie Minoga, 16. Albert Patak, 17. Stanton Albert, 18. George Benson, 19. Brandy Peter, 20. Lawrence Tu’u
A well- deserved 32-22 win against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls has pushed the SP PNG Hunters to the top of the Intrust Super Cup Standings.Winger Garry Lo scored a double, leaving Seagulls high and dry of round 12 of the Intrust Super Cup campaign.
It was another raging super Saturday at Kalabond Oval in Kokopo, East New Britain.A third placed Wynnum Manly Seagulls were ready to make a historical mark on the Hunters graveyard.
After a well- deserved break, Hunters were back to business with debutant Stanton Albert.As the
campaign unfolded, Seagulls were on the verge of scoring. They flew in with a
Hunters bounced back, balancing the scoreboard at 6 all.
Seagulls boasted on their biggest forward packs including
Dylan Smith who has a connection with Brisbane Broncos was a striking weapon for
the team.Hunters, with only three men off the bench, remained no easy beats as
they pushed forward, equal to the task.
Seagulls fullback, Daniel Ogden made his presence known, going past the resilient Hunters to score the
Seagulls a second. Seagulls inside Centre Matt Grieve added on a third straight
try, leading at 16 – 6 to half- time.
In the second half Hunters came fired up from their locker room.Hunters through Thompson Teteh replied back
the Seagulls opening try in this half as they continued pulling up defence and
denied Seagulls access at the scoring vicinity.
Hunters picked up the pace through Roger Laka and Garry Lo, who scored a double leaving the crowd in the hyper active mode while maintaining the graveyard tag.
SP PNG Hunter Mark Mexico has been signed by Australian NRL club the Cronulla Sharks and will link with his new club immediately.
Mexico, a World Cup Kumul front rower, has signed a one-year contract with the option of an extended contract based on his performances at his new club this season.
Having just returned from minor knee surgery Mexico played his third game back in the SP PNG Hunters’loss against the Ipswich Jets on Sunday.
Agreeing to the terms offered by the Sharks, Mexico was in a menacing mood with some great charges up the middle against the Jets.
Mexico’s signing follows on from another Hunter and Kumul player Wellington Albert’s engagement with NRL club the Penrith Panthers early this year.
The Cronulla Sharks needed a big forward with a solid work rate and Mexico although untried on the NRL scene will be jumping out of his skin to prove his worth on the big stage.
PNGRFL CEO Brad Tassell, who was at the centre of the negotiations for both players to ensure the welfare of the players is protected, said it was a deal that gives Mexico the opportunity to play top flight football and expose his talent against the best players in the world.
“It’s a great opportunity for Mark and I know he will grab it with both hands. We have a system put in place where we provide advice and guidance to the players and that includes a recommended player agent in Steve Deacon. What we don’t want and the PNGRFL Board has been very specific about this is several different agents approaching players direct with false promises when they don’t know or understand the culture. This is all new to PNG players and we want to ensure they are given the right advice and guidance. This is simply to look after their interests and so the club knows what is going on with the players, so it doesn’t affect their performances. Steve is on the NRL Accreditation committee for Player Agents and knows the system inside and out. He knows what clubs are looking for and what type of player they may need at different stages of the season. Mark is a perfect example where he had a couple of clubs interested, but Cronulla who recently lost Gallen and have contract issues with Fifita needed a quality prop so Steve approached them and a firm offer was made.
Steve then relayed that offer to management and coaches and we sat down with Mark and outlined in detail the offer to ensure he was happy and comfortable with it. He goes with our blessing and we wish him well.”
PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka echoed Tassell’s statements;
“This is a decision taken by the board and relayed to our CEO that we endorse Steve as our recommended player agent, particularly at this stage of the program. In the next few years this may change but right now we need one person to look after our players and our (PNGRFL) interests. We want to ensure our players are going to the right club and that they are also available for International duties. Steve has taken the time to understand our requirements when no other agent would even look at PNG players. Now we have agents wanting to jump on board, however trust is a big thing with us and this organization and we want to deal with people who do the right thing.”
“I want to congratulate Mark on his signing – this is what the program is all about. Two players have now signed NRL contracts and I have no doubt there will be more. This is why the program was created and this is what we need to do to be more competitive internationally. We hope that by the time the next World Cup arrives we have a large group of players playing in the NRL along with our Hunters team in the Intrust Super Cup. Then we will be able to compete against the top nations.”
Mexico said he was looking forward to the challenge and thanked the SP PNG Hunters and the PNGRFL;
“This is a great program and gives us (players) a chance to show our talents to NRL scouts. Without the Hunters, the structure and the professional approach we wouldn’t have that opportunity. I am very thankful to the PNGRFL for getting the Hunters in the Intrust Super Cup competition and the way the program is managing the players and developing them to an international standard. If you ask every player in the country what they want, 100% would say the pathway now created is what they want. Its important for our players to see that we can make it to the NRL through the pathway created in PNG. I am looking forward to the challenge with the Sharks and will give it my absolute best. I will still be following the boys and the Hunters keenly and I hope a few more can also step up to the NRL ranks.”
Pic: Mexico Signing Contract with PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka & Steve Deacon
The SP PNG Hunters have suffered their first loss in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup when competition leaders Northern Pride pulled off a hard-fought 34-18 win in Kokopo.
The loss put a dent in the competition newcomers’ roller-coaster ride who had already posted three wins from three games.
It was also sweet revenge for the Pride particularly for coach Jason Demetriou who would have finally got one over his arch rival Michael Marum.
Forty-year-old Marum has been a nemesis to Demetriou, guiding Agmark Gurias to 29-22 win over Pride in 2013 during an off-season trial and last month delivered a similar blow to the Cairns-based side 26-16 in the Far North Queensland capital in the Hunters pre-season trial.
This time away from home it was Demetriou’s turn to be celebrating as his team won the wrestle for the outright leadership in the top-of-the-table clash following the six tries-to-three victory.
But in front of the largest crowd since the Kalabond Oval has hosted visiting Queensland sides, the game was in the balance at half-time with the scores locked at 12-all.
The Pride realising that if they continued to use their taller forwards and sent away offloads in tackles, lifted their tempo in attack around the Hunters ruck area and use grubber kicks behind the opposition’s defence – the points would come.
And that is exactly how the game unfolded as forward Tyrone McCarthy celebrated with a double with an imposing performance.
Fellow forwards Ethan Lowe, Blake Leary and Ben Spina also did their part with halfback Sam Obst and five-eighth Shaun Nona pointing their team to which side of the field to launch their attacks.
Nona had a solid game picking up a personal tally of 14 points from a try and five goals.
Centre Davin Crampton was a busy man stealing important metres and was rewarded with a try as did wingers Justin Castellaro and Javid Bowen.
Hunters coach Marum admitted that they went down to a better side on the day.
The Hunters gave themselves every chance to beat last year’s minor premiers but undid the positive foundation they created with basic errors.
“In defence we were not slowing them down.”
The Pride gained crucial metres in the middle of the ruck and the quick-play-the-balls forced the Hunters into giving away penalties which provided the visitors the ascendency to continue the roll in the second half.
The weather was also kind to them in the closing 40 minutes as it rained and became cooler compared to the unbearable heat in the first stanza. The Pride just continued to revel in the conditions to put the finishing touches to the advantage.
Scorers for the Hunters were wingers Garry Lo and George Benson and forward David Loko while Noel Zeming kicked three goals.
“They (Pride) are a very good side, that’s why they are on top of the ladder,” Marum said.
The Hunters were told after the match to put that loss behind them get back into the routine as they prepare for the fifth round clash against 2013 grand finalists Easts Tigers this weekend.
The next game is also an away match against Ipswich Jets before they return to Kalabond on April 12.
THE Papua New Guinea Hunters have a score to settle with the Central Queensland Capras.
Michael Marum’s men were beaten 30-18 in a pre-season warm-up in Rockhampton last month and will be out to square the ledger at Kalabond Oval tomorrow.
Regular season form has been a contrast for the sides as the Hunters ride a wave of first-season enthusiasm, winning two from two.
The Capras have not had it so sweet, losing their opening two Queensland Cup in high-scoring matches to the Burleigh Bears 36-26 and 38-26 to the Northern Pride.
For the Hunters, the inclusion of hard-nosed prop Esau Siune for his first game sees coach Marum deviating slightly from the fast-paced style he has pushed over the first two games.
Siune, who played in that trial loss, has been given the chance after back-rower Adam Korave pulled out injured.
Willie Minoga, who started off as a centre in the Capras trial match, has found his niche, exploding off the bench as a mobile forward.
Tiger Emere has been called up in an 18-man team as Korave and Noel Joel sit out injured.
The Capras are confident of proving that their trial match win was no fluke.
The Hunters have to clamp down on the Capras go forward.
The South Pacific Brewery-sponsored Hunters are in third spot behind the Northern Pride and South Logan Magpies.
Capras coach Jason Hetherington will be depending on Hughie Stanley to take lead as the team has been forced by passport issues faced by many of their players to make changes.
“We’ve made a few changes but probably forced changes due to some of the boys not getting their passports back in time,” Hetherington said.
“We’re still fielding a strong squad; this year we have plenty of depth and we can cover those spots.
“A big positive for us is having Hughie Stanley back after a fortnight off.”
He said Stanley’s knowledge and dominance would play a major role in the Capras snaring their first win of the season.
“He’s a quality player and I know he’ll do a good job for us,” Hetherington said.
“If we can get the first win – and I’m confident we can – this could be a good turn for us,” he said. “I just think if we get that first win the confidence will come.”the national
IF it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
SP Hunters coach Michael Marum is continuing his trend of a small mobile bench to get the job done against the visiting Central Coast Capras on Saturday.
After beating the Redcliffe Dolphins 24-18 and the Mackay Cutters 24-16 in the opening two rounds of the Queensland Cup, Marum’s tactic of using quick-footed runners down the middle third to catch tiring defences has worked well so far.
The Hunters yesterday named an unchanged side to take on the Capras this weekend.
One player adding impact of the bench has been Willie Minoga, who has turned a new leaf playing a forward role, after making his mark as a centre for the Lae Tigers in the Digicel Cup.
Marum’s use of a light but mobile bench has seen him leave out noted forwards Esau Siune and Gonzela Urakusie, while the impressive form of Lawrence Tu’u, Minoga, Noel Zeming and Adam Korave means Kumuls Siune and Urakusie will have to bide their time until injury or form gives them a chance.
The irresistible form of fullback Adex Wera and centre Thompson Teteh has been the talking point while the five-eighth Israel Eliab looks more and more comfortable in the leadership role and certainly has the respect of his troops.
The Hunters have a score to settle with the Rockhampton-based Capras who out-played and out-muscled them 30-18 in a warm-up match last month.
Coached by former Canterbury Bulldogs rake and Queensland Origin player Jason Hetherington, the Capras bring a forward-oriented style with Brisbane Broncos squad member Arlin Paki, a prop with a reputation for hard running and pulling off big hits, expected to test the home side at Kalabond Oval.
Capras halfback Theeran Pearson n’t have found memories of the last clash between the two sides.
The playmaker left the field in the second half of the first clash at Browne Park with a gash needing 12 stitches.
Backrower Adam Dale has fonder recollections having scooped the man of the match that night.
The Capras will bring their same in-your-face style in Kokopo would have worked out what the Hunters need to do to neutralise and take out side that lost 36-28 to the Northern Pride in their last match.
SP Hunters: 1. Adex Wera 2. Garry Lo 3. Thompson Teteh 4. Albert Patak 5. George Benson 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Roger Laka 8. Joe Bruno 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Timothy Lomai 11. David Loko 12. Brandy Peter 13. Sebastian Pandia 14. Noel Zemming 15. Willie Minoga 16. Lawrence Tu’u 17. Adam Korave 18. Noel Joel The National
The Intrust Super Cup broke new ground last weekend when the PNG Hunters hosted their first game at Kalabond Oval in Kokopo.
They defeated the Mackay Cutters 24-16 to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and while they may have finished on the wrong side of the scoreboard, it was an experience those members of the Cutters who travelled will never forget.
Here, Mackay Cutters Executive Officer Glenn Ottaway takes us behind the scenes of how the Intrust Super Cup is being received in PNG and the reception other visiting teams to Kokopo can expect during the course of the season:
Despite some ordinary weather on arrival, the spirits of the players lifted immediately as the hospitality and passion of the locals was on show from the very beginning. The touring party was greeted at the airport by traditional dancing and a group of more than 100 locals who turned up for a glimpse of the team and a photo opportunity. The chance for a photo or video was not even passed in by the airport ground staff and customs officials who all had their phones at the ready as the group crossed the tarmac.
It quickly became evident that the police escort from the airport to the hotel was overkill as the locals lined the streets and stopped work to wave at the passing bus. Even the prison chain gangs who are used to clear bushland on the road sides (and who are seemingly loosely guarded) stopped work to wish the team well.
We arrived at the Kokopo Beach Bungalows (KBB) at around 2.30pm and were ushered straight to lunch. The boys were very quick to comment on how the food and service was well above the usual standard. Donna and her staff at KBB catered for our every need. They could not do enough for us and made us feel very welcome despite taking over most of the hotel. I definitely think our players will remember the people more than anything else.
A group of 15 players made the trip on Saturday morning to the local markets. The market vendors seemed to have little interest in selling us their product as long as we stopped for photos, handshakes or to simply say good morning. Some of the boys were keen to buy a Bilam bag, a woven over-the-shoulder bag used by locals. Two unnamed players returned to the bus proud of their purchase, however, like in any local market around the world, it pays to do your homework as on close inspection we found the ‘Made in China’ label.
It was an unusual preparation for game-day. Again, the hospitality of the staff at KBB was evident as they allowed us to take over the hotel function room and create a makeshift dressing room. The bus trip to the ground was also unusual as we had to travel in full playing kit as there were no dressing shed facilities at Kalabond Oval. It was straight from the bus to the field for warm-up.
Although we did not get the on-field result we were after, the whole experience was extremely rewarding for our group. It would be fair to say that most players indicated it was the best life experience the game has given them. The community of which we were a part of for a very short period of time was filled with friendly, beautiful people. They are very passionate and enthusiastic about life in general and fully appreciate the small things that we probably take for granted every day.
On behalf of the Mackay Cutters I would like to sincerely thank all those that made it possible for us to have our young men experience what they did.
Agmark Gurias and Kumuls five-eigth, Dion Aiye has joined the P-N-G Hunters camp, as the team prepares for its third home game this weekend, against the Central Queensland Capras.
Hunters lost to Capras three weeks ago in Rockhampton, 18 points to their 30.
Aiye is a much needed inclusion in the P-N-G side, fitting into the five-eighth role, before the team meets East Tigers in Brisbane, on March 29.
The Hunters won their first home game against Mackay Cutters, in Kokopo, yesterday
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36