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Hunters George Benson promoted to Second Row

George Benson
HE may be the shortest Hunter but George Benson has won praise for his grit from coach Michael Marum.
The 165-centimetre tall winger will see more action in the middle of the field on Sunday when he lines up in the No.11 jersey against Norths Devils in Round 11 of the Queensland Cup at Bishop Park, in Brisbane. Having started in every game this season on the right side, Benson, who tips the scales at a chunky 93-kilogrammes, has taken to his new role in the back-row, like a duck to water.
He maybe vertically challenged but Marum said his ball carrying ability was second to none.
“George has always been a good ball runner. He makes yards with every hit-up from the wing and in the last few matches we’ve used him closer to the action, especially on defence,” Marum said.
Marum said opposition kickers and play-makers had started to target the 21-year-old over the first six rounds of the competition and finding a new role for the winger, who shares the same name as a famous American rhythm and blues singer/song writer, was always going to be a challenge.
But with a raft of suspensions, injuries and players being stood down Benson’s move to the forwards has been seamless.
“George has done the job I’ve asked him to do and he is really enjoying his time in the forwards,” Marum said.
Benson’s value to the side has remained high and powerful ball runner is sure to cause headaches for the  Devils on Sunday.  The Hunters enter the match sitting in third position after their gutsy 32-22 win over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Kokopo and Marum was not fazed about the challenge his side faced in Queensland.
“Playing away is always a challenge but we tell the players to concentrate and play to the plan. We weren’t worried during the game against Wynnum last week even though we trailed 16-6 at one stage. The players know what they have to do. It’s just a matter of doing it.”
A returning Timothy Lomai, back from a two-game suspension, joins the impressive Esau Siune in the front-row, while Joe Bruno, who suffered concussion, will not play.
Dion Aiye comes back into the 17 on the bench, while captain Israel Eliab is still recovering from a bout of malaria.Goal-kicking ace Noel Zemming will start at five-eighth.
The match will be televised live on Hitron and Channel 8, with a delayed telecast as 7pm on EMTV.
Hunters: Adex Wera, Gary Lo, Thompson Teteh, Albert Patak, Edward Goma, Noel Zemming, Roger Laka, Esau Siune, Wartovo Puara Jr, Timothy Lomai, George Benson, Sebastian Pandia, Adam Korave. Bench: Dion Aiye, Lawrence Tu’u, Willie Minoga, Tiger Emere, Stanton Albert, Noel Joel.
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