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PNG Hunters see off Burliegh Bears 20 - 12

THE PNG Hunters ground out a 20-12 win over the Burleigh Bears in their round 18 Q-Cup match at the National Football Stadium yesterday.
Kumul prop Luke Page, who started for the Bears in the No.8 jersey, led his side well with halfback Jamal Fogarty another standout for the visitors in a close match.
Despite scoring the opening try, a corner post effort by winger Paul Wawa, the Hunters let in two relatively soft four-pointers to Bears rake Patrick Politoni and prop Matt White which saw them trail the visitors 12-4 for most of the first half.
Captain Ase Boas regathered a loose ball off his own grubber close to the line to ground it under the uprights in the 35th minute for the home side to go into the shed 12-10 behind.
Marum instructed his men to play with a little more control and to cut down on errors to get back into the game.
“At half time I just told them to cut down on those errors and complete our sets and even though we started the second half the same way we did in the first, we managed to hang on and get the win,” Marum said.
“It wasn’t one of our best efforts but we were able to keep the Bears scoreless in the second half and what matters is that we got the win.”
The Bears showed their hand in the first half trying to control the pace and not give the Hunters cheap possession in their half.
Bears coach Jimmy Lenihan said his side could have stolen a win over the Hunters at the NFS, especially after a strong first half but could not build any attacking pressure in the second 40.
“I think we did well in the game; we were in front and we had some momentum going in the second half but you know the Hunters are a quality side and we just couldn’t find our way in that second half,” Lenihan said.
Bland Abavu held off opposite Jake Carl to cross for the Hunters in the 47th minute after a Watson Boas lob.
After taking the lead (14-12) for the first time in the match, the Hunters continued to misfire on attack until the 70th minute when Watson Boas put on an individual effort which saw him regather a grubber behind the line before stepping a defender and fending off Bears No.1 Curtis Rowe to cross for the match-sealing try.
Brother and skipper Ase Boas was candid in his assessment of his side’s performance post match, describing it as a fortuitous win.
“I think we were lucky to get the win because I think two of our tries came off unstructured plays and we were just lucky the ball bounced our way,” Ase said.
PNG Hunters 20 (Paul Wawa, Ase Boas, Bland Abavu, Watson Boas tries; Ase Boas 2 con) Burleigh Bears 12 (Pat Politoni, Matt White tries; Jamal Fogarty 2 con).
Round 18 results: Sat, July 8 – Tigers 34 Cutters 10, Falcons 28 Dolphins 24, Pride 14 Devils 30, Capras 18 WM Seagulls 36; Sun, July 9 – Magpies 22 Jets 30, Hunters 20 Bears 12. Bye: TH Seagulls, Blackhawks. The National / PNG Today
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