THE Hunters proved they are one of the best teams in the Queensland Cup with a convincing 32-14 win over the Ipswich Jets on Saturday.
The Round 22 match at the North Ipswich Reserve saw the Michael Marum-coached outfit put on a performance with the same intensity as their Round 11 meeting with the competition leaders the Townsville Blackhawks at the Jack Manski Oval in Townsville. The Hunters won 22-16 that day and proved they are capable of playing a high standard of football on the road.
The Jets did themselves no favours with a high error count (13) as well as ill-discipline, giving Hunters’ sharp-shooter Noel Zeming four penalty goals.
Zeming, pictured, finished with a 20-point haul from four conversions, four penalties and a try.
The Jets’ helter-skelter style of continuous movement and changing of angles did not trouble the Hunters defence which was up to the challenge.
Perhaps the biggest problem for the Ben and Shane Walker-coached team, who dropped to fourth on the ladder, was their lack of a plan B.
Their short kick-offs offset their mistakes somewhat with the hosts managing to regain possession on four of their eight restarts. The Hunters handled periods of sustained pressure on their line early in both halves and came back to score through Zeming penalties before stamping their class with tries.
The Hunters were the first on the board (2-0) with a Zeming penalty in the 9th minute. Before that the Jets had dominated the opening exchanges but for no return.
Stargroth Amean scored a try in the 16th minute and Zeming converted for the SP-sponsored side to move to an 8-0. The Jets finally got on the board thanks to fullback Carlin Anderson.
With the Hunters on attack in the opposition’s 20m a spilled ball by centre Edward Goma saw the Jets custodian pick up the ball and skirt down the sideline before flicking a pass inside to flyer Marmin Barba who jetted 80m to score.
Anderson missed the conversion and the Hunters lead 8-4. Replacement Atte Bina crashed over under the uprights in the 29th minute and the Hunters took a 14-4 lead.
Zeming then slotted a 35m penalty in the 38th minute and the visitors took a deserved 16-4 lead at halftime.
The Jets started off the second 40 much the same way they had the first and with the same negligible result.
Zeming banged over another penalty in the 52nd minute and the Hunters edged out to an 18-4 lead.
The 26-year-old then added a try to his tally four minutes later which he converted to see his side break away to a 24-4 lead.
Captain Israel Eliab produced another highlight reel moment in the 63rd minute to all but end the home side’s hopes.
Zeming kept his kicking at 100 per cent with the conversion as well as another penalty and Marum’s side was 32-4 in front with eight minutes remaining.
The Jets scored two consolation tries to Dane Philips and Barba to close out the match but that only flattered them as they were out-played for most of the match.