A BARNSTORMING second half from fill-in prop Willie Minoga nearly got the Papua
New Guinea Hunters over the line but a late try to local product Chris
Kitching saw the Burleigh Bears claim a dramatic 26-22 win at Pizzey Park, Gold
Coast, last Friday.
Minoga, who has been used as an impact player off the
bench by coach Michael Marum, was given his first start after prop Timothy
Lomai copped a two-match suspension for a dangerous throw.
Minoga scored a
try and made great metres carting the ball up in a powerful display in front of
a good crowd estimated at 4,000 on ANZAC Day.
Despite Minoga’s heroics, the
Hunters had a flat opening half and the Bears jumped to a big lead at the
break, only for momentum to swing around drastically in the second half with
the Hunters taking the lead 22-20 with 10 minutes to go.
But the Bears stuck
strong and Kitching, who 12 months ago was playing with the Tugun Seahawks in
the Bycroft Cup, was the hero scoring under the posts with less than five
The match also saw Hunters Edward Goma play his first
Queensland Cup match after waiting eight rounds.
Goma came off the bench and
moved to the wing while regular winger George Benson shifted to the
Goal-kicking ace Noel Zemming, also missed his first goal, when
his conversion attempt from the side line for Garry Lo’s second try hit the
In what was a high-paced and exciting game of football it was the
Bears who gained the upper hand early through winger Zac Mackay.
fifth-minute try was backed up by tries to Khan Ahwang and Matt Beddow to give
the Bears a 16-point lead with less than 15 minutes gone.
Lo got the Hunters
on the board in the 29th minute, but the joy was short lived for the visitors
with Steve Michaels scoring shortly after to again extend the Burleigh
Everything changed in the second stanza with the Hunters led by Minoga
coming back out with some incredible fire.
They were running and tackling
harder which brought the large PNG contingent in the crowd to their
The results on the scoreboard were immediate as well. Lo bagged his
second in the 45th minute before Minoga crashed over five minutes later.
Hunters had all of the ball in the second half and dominated field position,
looking likely to score on a number of occasions.
The breakthrough finally
came in the 69th minute through David Loko, who scored next to the posts to
give the Hunters their first lead of the afternoon.
But Burleigh was
desperate and it showed when Kitching crashed over for the match-winner.
was a gut-wrenching ending for the Hunters who worked so hard to get into the
lead only to have the game slip through their fingers at the death – the loss
sees the Hunters fall down a place to fifth.
The Hunters returned home on
Saturday and the players and coaching staff have taken a well-earned break as
the side has a bye this weekend.
The side will return to camp next Monday as
they prepare to host the Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Kalabond Stadium in
Burleigh Bears 26 (S Michaels, K Ahwang, Z Mackay, M Beddow, C
Kitching tries; K Ahwang 3 con) PNG Hunters 22 (G Lo 2, D Loko, W Minoga tries;
N Zemming 3 con)
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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