THE Papua New Guinea Hunters small men have a huge job against a beefed up Central Queensland Capras in their second Intrust Super Cup rugby league trial match at Browne Park, Rockhampton tomorrow.
The SP Hunters, were buoyed by their first trial 26-18 win over last season’s minor premiers Northern Pride in Cairns last Sunday, but know the job will be harder this time.
The second outing will give Hunters coach Michael Marum a better idea on who will start in their season opener against the Redcliffe Dolphins on March 2 at the Dolphin Oval in Redcliffe.
The Capras who have signed Welsh international winger Rhys Williams, former Samoan international Smith Samau, former English Super League’s Catalans Dragon Sebastien Martins, Newcastle Knights Bobby Nona and talented Torres Strait Islander Clifford Betham from Cairns Brothers, will test the newcomers.
Marum said he did not know much about the Capras, but envisages a tougher outing after their close win over the Pride last week.
“Our halves and hooker play a strategic role in ensuring we run through our lines and game patterns that we have been practising,” Marum said.
Marum speaking by phone from Rockhamton yesterday said the trial was all about trying out all options available.
But everything stems from half-back Roger Laka, five-eighth Israel Eliab and rake Wartovo Puara Junior starting off on a good note.
“Our halves play a key role in ensuring our runners are taking the right options,” he added.
Marum (pictured) said with the inclusion of Noel Zemming, they will have full use of their 22 players, as the match will be played in quarters.
The game is expected to start at 7pm. Zemming was the only player who did not run against the Pride due to illness.
“Noel (Zemming) has recovered well and will come off the bench with Noel John and Lawrence Tu’u in those key positions.”
He said that winger George Benson has an issue with his ankle but it was nothing serious at this stage.
Marum said as long as the Hunters played according to the systems that they have in place, it will also help them to gauge the players’ ability to handle this level of competition.
Meanwhile, a huge crowd is expected at Browne Park to see the PNG Hunters play in Central Queensland for the first time.
Back in the side will be Capras enforcer Arlin Paki, who after an opportunity to mix it with NRL’s best wants more. The 26-year-old prop suited up for the Brisbane Broncos in their first NRL preseason trial last Saturday night. Paki said he was looking forward to playing against the PNG Hunters.
Hunters: Adex Wera (full-back), Gary Lo, George Benson (wings), Thompson Teteh, William Minoga (centres), Israel Eliab (five-eighth), Roger Laka (half-back), Essau Siune, Gonzella Urakusie (props), Wartovo Pauria Junior (hooker), Adam Korave, David Loko (second-row), Sebastian Pandia (lock), Noel Zemming, Noel John, Brandy Peter, Lawrence Tu’u (reserves).
The Capras: Hughie Stanley, Rhys Williams, Marco Delapena, Smith Samou, Mitch Zornig, Theeran Pearson, Blake Wallace, Sebastien Martins, Ian Webster, Arlin Paki, Guy Williams, Andrew Dale, Peter Gallen, Reece Baker, Brent Williams, John Clayton, Sam Pierce, Aaron Hall, Hayden Buckman, Bobby Nona, Liam Pickersgill, Matt Mizzey.
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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