Sport: PNG Hunters stick with winning team after breakthrough win

1:49 pm on 29 May 2019

Papua New Guinea Hunters rugby league coach Michael Marum has rewarded the players who secured the team's first home win of the season, making just two injury-enforced changes to the squad to face defending Intrust Super Cup champions Redcliffe Dolphins this weekend.

The Hunters beat Souths Logan Magpies 24-22 on Sunday to secure only their second win in 11 games, snapping a four game losing streak.

The PNG Hunters snapped their losing streak against Souths Logan.

The PNG Hunters snapped their losing streak against Souths Logan. Photo: PNG Hunters Media

Michael Marum reserved particular praise for fullback Terry Wapi, who scored a try on debut.

"We brought in a young fullback from the Digicel Cup side and he had a good game there. Terry Wapi had a really good game - he set up a try, he scored a try and he did 200 metres during the game," he said.

"Sailas Gahuna is another former player we brought in to the dummy half role so he was dangerous around the park the way he ran from dummy half effectively so the new people brought a lot of energy into the side and we had to deal with a new halves combination but it worked out well and hopefully they get more experience."

PNG Hunters newcomer Terry Wapi.

PNG Hunters newcomer Terry Wapi. Photo: Supplied/Melvin Levongo

Terry Wapi keeps his place at the back with fit again former captain Adex Wera returning to the centres in place of Brendon Nima, who's been ruled out with a rib injury, while Epel Kapinias starts in the backrow in place of McKenzie Yei, who has an ankle injury.

Stanton Albert and Ila Alu have also been named on an extended bench, alongside the Hunters' record points scorer Ase Boas.

Saturday evening's clash at Dolphin Stadium will pit the two previous winners of the Intrust Super Cup against each other, with both teams currently struggling in 2019.

2018 Premiers Redcliffe have managed just three wins from 11 games with two of their victories coming against teams that have also lost to the PNG Hunters: Souths Logan and Central Queensland Capras.

A Hunters win would draw the teams level on six points and Michael Marum believes the visitors can build on their momentum from last weekend.

"Yeah I think we will, we can," he said. "The boys this morning they all got up and did the extras, they're in the gym...certainly the confidence is higher and there's good talk in there, especially after that win."