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Hunters humble Pride on home soil

After pulling off a monumental 50-16 thrashing over Townsville Blackhawks a week ago in Townsville, the re-energized PNG Hunters produced another stellar performance, thumping the Northern Pride with a 30-12 victory during their round 9 clash of the QRL Hostplus Cup competition on Saturday, May 11th, at Santos National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.


The Hunters have found their groove and pushed the Northern Pride to the brink, humiliating the competition leaders at the spiritual home of PNG’s rugby league ground.


As was expected, the Northern Pride started strong and were dominant in the first 15 minutes of the early proceedings, scoring two tries and leading the Hunters 12-0.


The unfazed Hunters held their composure and responded with an individual brilliant try through custodian fullback Sanny Wabo, who zigzagged his way past a few defenders to ground the ball under the uprights.


That try by Wabo changed the momentum of the game, which saw the home side bagging two more tries to take an 18-12 lead over the visitors at the break.


It was all Hunters in the second half, who scored three additional tries to upset the table toppers. The Pride made an attempt to come back but their poor ball handling errors did not help them to stay in the fight.


Though it was not a convincing win, the Aiton-coached side’s resilient defence earned them two crucial points to improve their ranking in the 15-team QRL Hostplus Cup competition.


The SP Brewery-sponsored outfit’s gallant win over the Northern territory franchise now pushed them from the 11th spot to the 8th position on the ladder.


Coach Paul Aiton was really pleased with his team’s performance, especially defensively, keeping the Blackhawks and Pride scoreless in the second half of rounds 8 and 9 games. 


“I am really proud of the boys’ effort in defence. Defence is effort and it showed today. To start off against the league leaders, defending the line repeatedly and to come out with a win like that, I’m really proud,” an elated Aiton stated.


“The Northern Pride came out fine but the boys just defended for each other; they were there for each other. There’s a good feeling amongst the team and I think it’s seen in their defence.”


The high-flying SP PNG Hunters will meet the Ipswich Jets in the round 10 of QRL Hostplus Cup competition on Saturday, May 19th, at Santos National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.

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