The PNG Hunters notched their second win of the Intrust Super Cup season, overwhelming the Mackay Cutters at BB Print Stadium.
A combination of power-running and flashy ball play had the Cutters defence grasping at air all evening, with the visitors cruising to a 26-14 victory.
A healthy crowd was on hand as the Hunters outmuscled and outclassed the Cutters at every opportunity, with a deft kicking game complementing a powerful forward pack as the visitors controlled the contest from start to finish.
However, the Hunters were their own worst enemy in the opening exchanges of the contest, spilling the ball coming out of trouble and then dropping it again on a cross field kick; gifting a try to Mackay centre Michael Bell.
But the Hunters soon utilised their power game to establish an advantage, with Samuel Yegip crashing over off the back of a Mackay mistake. The successful conversion poked the visitors in front.
Next up, it was time for Sylvester Namo to charge over as Mackay’s defence once again folded through the middle.
The Hunters then showed their finesse on their next opportunity, with expansive ball movement seeing Junior Rau dotting down to the left edge.
Mackay responded first in the second half with Kane Bradley scoring out wide off a backline play to bring the side hope.
However, the Hunters once again pushed away, with veteran Watson Boas scoring down the left flank.
Edwin Ipape touched down for PNG’s fifth try of the night to all but seal the contest, with Kyle Krisanski-Kennedy crossing late to add a little respectability to score for Mackay.
After the game, PNG Hunters coach Matt Church said he was pleased by the way his side stuck to their guns and were able to overcome having a number of tries disallowed early for forward passes.
“We really started to play well once we overcame those setbacks and that enabled us to take the lead,” Church said.
“The Cutters never go away – they always continue to challenge – so we had to keep playing well.
“There are no easy games in this competition, so we’ll get another good idea of where we’re at when we take on the Sunshine Coast next Saturday.”
The Hunters will host Sunshine Falcons at Runaway Bay in Saturday’s Kayo Freebies game.
The Cutters will travel to Rockhampton to meet the Central Queensland Capras in XXXX Rivalry Round with both teams seeking their first win of the season.