A last second field goal has given the Papua New Guinea Hunters a dramatic 11-10 victory against the previously unbeaten Townsville Blackhawks in yesterday's Queensland Cup rugby league clash in Port Moresby.
Co-captain Adam Korave scored the opening try after 16 minutes at the National Football Stadium before Townsville's PNG pairing Rhyse Martin and former Hunter Willie Minoga struck in a four minute burst to give the visitors a 10-6 lead at the break.
Justin Olam levelled the scores with 17 minutes remaining to ensure a tight finish.
PNG Rugby League CEO Bob Cutmore said it went right down to the wire and the result could have gone either way.
"We packed a scrum with about one minute and something to go and then when the scrum happened the crowd really got up and started to cheer for the Hunters because we had the scrum feed. We went down the line and then Ase Boas kicked the field goal which touched the post and went inside off the post, which was just huge for the crowd. It was a great finish and everyone has left enjoying the afternoon of football, which is good."
Bob Cutmore said there is a lot of mutual respect between the two teams and a good rivalry had started to develop.
He said, after a tough travel schedule to begin the season, the Hunters are looking forward to having a full week on home soil before Saturday's clash against the Norths Devils.
"The first five games we played four games away so last week we had a ten hour bus trip after we played in Cairns to catch a flight back home so this was always going to be a tough, physical game for us because we didn't have a lot of turnaround and then next week we've got a quick turnaround because on Saturday night we play Norths Devils at home. It's not a bad month for us - it gives us a bit of time to recover - but it will be interesting to see how both teams recover from this game."
The Hunters are now level with the Blackhawks and Burleigh Bears with five wins each from six matches but remain third overall on points differential.