COACH Michael Marum has resisted the temptation to do anything different to what delivered the Papua New Guinea Hunters their first Queensland Cup victory last week.
That includes naming an unchanged line-up except for a minor reshuffle where Joe Bruno starts in the front row in place of Gonzela Urakusie in tomorrow’s opening home game against reigning premiers Mackay Cutters at Kalabond Stadium in Kokopo.
But the biggest temptation would been whether to give Willie Minoga a starting berth instead of off the bench like he did in last week’s 24-18 victory over Redcliffe Dolphins in Brisbane.
Minoga came off the bench and played a blinder as he continued to cause havoc on the Dolphins defence with his powerful running.
Channel Nine commentators who called the match live compared him to some of Australia’s great like Gorden Tallis because of his rampaging runs. They wondered how a forward was running like a back.
However, they did not know that Minoga is specialist back – who has been beefed up through an impressive weight training regime and was part of the strategy to use mobility to strike at the opposition.
Minoga was also an instant hero with others who watched the game at Dolphin Oval or on television.
But Marum was not prepared to change a winning formula electing to keep Minoga on the bench and throw him at a tiring defence – a plan that most likely to be used to get similar results tomorrow.
“I will continue to use (Willie) Minoga as an impact player, keeping him on the bench, rather than having him in the starting line-up..will keep consistency in the team as whole as he (Minoga) adds a lot flair when he comes off the bench.”
But Marum knows not only one player wins the game and everybody has a specific role to play – which will he hopes will come together to give the SP Hunters their second win on the trot.
Complacency is something that Marum does not want from his team as the Cutters, reeling from a 40-12 loss to East Tigers last week, have every reason to be fired up for the match which kicks off at 2.30pm.
“The boys (Hunters) are hard at training because the Mackay team will be looking for revenge following their loss last week.
“Mackay are also the current champions and the match won’t be easy,” Marum said.
“I am looking at consistency every weekend and will be using mostly the same players from last week but also keeping options open for other players to perform.
“Otherwise it is early days and we have 24 more games to go so I will keep using my players where possible and also there are injuries to consider throughout the competition itself.
“Otherwise the boys are fired up for the match and we expect a huge crowd at our home-base to get behind the boys.”
Mackay will be led by former Kumul Tyson Martin, and has retained most of the squad from last year’s premiership-winning roster.
Rugby League News by Category
Bringing all the latest rugby league news in PNG. If you want to contribute to this site with articles relating to sports please contact us here
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