Posted By Staff Reporter
A CLINICAL opening 40 minutes and a grinding second half gave the SP Papua New Guinea Hunters their first win over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls at BMD Kougari Oval in Brisbane yesterday.
The Boas brothers acquitted themselves well in the 24-10 win despite halfback Watson Boas leaving the field in the 66th minute with an eye injury.
The Hunters kept the home side scoreless in the opening half (16-0) thanks to a better organised defence as the Seagulls compounded their situation with six handling errors and a kick out on the full.
Prop Esau Siune got the first try after 12 minutes running on to a Wartovo Puara-face ball three metres out to go over under the uprights. Zeming chipped over the conversion for a 6-0 lead.
Bland Abavu crashed over three minutes later off a well-worked backline move inside the Wynnum 20m area.
Television commentator Adrian Vowles attributed the try to “everyone” knowing what to do and executing their roles “perfectly” in the move that saw two second-man plays.
Zeming’s sideline conversion fell short and the Hunters were 10-0 up with a quarter of the match gone.
After a fruitless period of sustained pressure for the Seagulls the home side found themselves deep in their red zone and hanging on.
Fullback Stargroth Amean was stopped two metres short of the line by a sensational effort from Seagulls winger Peter Gubb but the Hunters No.1 crossed in the next set after taking a generous Ase Boas off-load a minute before halftime.
Zeming put the ball right down the ball black dot for a 16-0 lead going into the break.
The Seagulls started the second 40 with a purpose, making good metres off their sets and a penalty for a high shot deep in the Hunters half saw centre Mitchell Buckett score in the 49th minute but halfback Mathew Seamark missed the extras.
The Seagulls looked to be building momentum and controlling the middle third but found themselves trapped in their 20 and conceded a penalty in front of the uprights and Zeming took the opportunity to give his men a breather and extend the lead to 18-4 with a little over a quarter of the match left.
With No.7 Watson Boas leaving the field, back-rower Warren Glare slotted into to his more accustomed role of hooker while vice-captain Puara played first receiver.
Wartovo’s class shone through when he set up winger Justin Olam with a short kick in behind the line which caught Seagulls fullback Daniel Ogden out and the Sina Sina man showed his soccer skills manoeuvring the ball past the cover defence to regather and roll over for the Hunters fourth try in the 71st minute.
Zeming made no mistake with the boot and coach Michael Marum’s charges had all but sealed their first ever win on Wynnum’s home turf.
Seagulls five-eighth Patrick Templeman sliced through for a consolation four-pointer with six minutes left but in the end the visitors left the ‘chook pen’ deserved winners.
Results: Sat, March 12 – Easts Tigers 24 Sunshine Coast Falcons 6, Central Queensland Capras 24 Norths Devils 32; Sun, March 13 – Ipswich Jets 18 Townsville Blackhawks 30, Souths Logan Magpies 24 Redcliffe Dolhpins 18, Burleigh Bears 36 Tweed Heads Seagulls 26, Northern Pride 44 Mackay Cutters 24, Wynnum Manly Seagulls 10 PNG Hunters 24.