6 Aug 2016

Sport: PNG Hunters players under injury cloud

10:39 am on 6 August 2016

The Papua New Guinea Hunters have a number of injury concerns going into tomorrow's crucial home clash against Intrust Super Cup leaders Burleigh.

The Hunters beat the Ipswich Jets 18-16 last week to stay in third place, three points behind the Bears, who had their seven match winning run ended by the Northern Pride.

PNG Rugby League CEO Bob Cutmore said some key players would be given to the last minute to prove their fitness.

"We've definitely probably lost Wartovo Puara and he's a crucial player for us. Adam Korave is suspect, our captain, but I'm pretty confident he'll probably play and we're waiting on a fitness test on Ase Boas but I'm pretty sure he will play too."

"You've just got to deal with the players we've got and Burleigh are coming up here, I know they've named a very big physical side...It's going to be fairly humid on Sunday afternoon here due to the conditions and the way Burleigh play they will probably play up the middle and come at us with size so we've just got to make sure we can compete," he said.

The Hunters have won all nine matches at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby this season and Bob Cutmore said there was no place like home.

"They really enjoy playing here because we travel every second weekend virtually and the travel does get to us. We go to the international airport, you've got a two-hour wait at the international airport... and you're flying three hours to Brisbane."

"By the time you get through customs and everything else it does wear and tear on your mind and on your body. The last two weeks at home - and even though the game against Ipswich was close - it's just good to be playing the ladder leaders at home in Port Moresby on a Sunday afternoon," he said.

A win would keep the Hunters in touch with Burleigh and the Redcliffe Dolphins with three rounds of the regular season remaining.

Bob Cutmore said they're hoping for a top two finish, which would earn the team a week off and a home playoff match in Port Moresby.

PNG Hunters players sign posters at their 2016 season launch.

PNG Hunters players sign posters at their 2016 season launch. Photo: SP Hunters