Sport: Struggling Seagulls stun PNG Hunters

2:54 pm on 19 June 2017

The Papua New Guinea Hunters seven-match winning streak came to a sudden end as they slumped to a shock 14-10 defeat at home against the bottom-placed Tweed Heads Seagulls on Saturday.

The Hunters were missing skipper Ase Boas, who had been ruled out of the match through injury on Friday, with hooker Wartovo Puara slotting into the first receiver role.

Halfback Michael Burgess scored the first try for the visitors at the National Football Stadium, after a knock-on by Hunters prop Essau Siune, gifting the Seagulls a 6-0 lead inside the first four minutes.

Five eighth Lindon McGrady added the extras and extended the lead to 8-0, after as many minutes, with a penalty goal four minutes later.

Hunters stand in skipper Wellington Albert stood up for the home side, making big tackles and damaging runs with ball in hand, however handling errors and poor discipline limited the Hunters attacking opportunities.

The PNG Hunters were upset at home by the bottom-placed Tweed Heads Seagulls.

The PNG Hunters were upset at home by the bottom-placed Tweed Heads Seagulls. Photo: RNZI / Melvin Levongo

The Seagulls struck a major blow two minutes before halftime when interchange forward Damien Sirinon crashed over four their second four-pointer, with McGrady converting to make it 14-0 at the break.

Centre Adex Wera hit back for the Hunters four minutes into the second spell, with Israel Eliab landing the conversion in Ase Boas' absence.

Willie Minoga almost had a second for the home side at the 50 minute mark, charging over a would-be-tackler and sprinting 80m before Lindon McGrady produced a try saving tackle to take Minoga over the sideline.

Minoga finally got his reward with ten minutes remaining, after a good backline play, dotting down after taking the final pass from fullback Stagroth Amean.

Irael Eliab missed the conversion and the home side eventually ran out of time, suffering just their second home defeat of the season.

However PNG remain atop the Intrust Super Cup ladder after second-placed Sunshine Coast Falcons were beaten 36-14 by Townsville.