Papua New Guinea Hunters win Queensland Cup Grand Final in last minute

John Coomer Roar Guru

29 Have your say

    The PNG Hunters have scored in the final minute to win their first Queensland Cup in a thrilling finish at Suncorp Stadium against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

    Trailing 10-6, Hunters’ five-eighth, captain and man-of-the-match Ase Boas put through a grubber as their last throw of the dice. Interchange forward Willie Minoga won a desperate race for the ball, grounding it just before the dead-ball line.

    Boas then calmly slotted the conversion from beside the posts to put the Hunters in the lead for the first time in the match.

    The Falcons then went for a short kick-off that didn’t work. The hooter sounded seconds later, sparking wild celebrations among the Hunters players and many in the crowd. No doubt the entire population of PNG will be celebrating long and hard for the next few days.

    Earlier, the Falcons had a dream start to the match, scoring two tries in the first seven minutes of the first half. The first came in their opening set, when they threw the ball wide to try and exploit the Hunters’ slide defence. It worked, with winger Matt Soper-Lawler crossing in the corner.

    The Falcons scored again five minutes later when halfback Ryley Jacks put hard-running backrower Joe Stimson over.

    The Hunters managed to steady their defence for the rest of the half, but couldn’t hang onto the ball for long enough to mount any attacking pressure. They went into the sheds trailing 10-0.

    They needed to score first in the second half to get some confidence and the Falcons did them a huge favour when they knocked on from the kick-off. In the next set, Ase Boas put in a grubber and his brother Watson Boas ended up scoring from it to get the Hunters on the scoreboard.

    Both teams were willing to throw the ball around in very warm September conditions in Brisbane, but were let down by their handling throughout the game. The completion rate of the Hunters, in particular, was poor. They looked very nervous. But the defence from both sides was also very willing. You couldn’t fault their commitment or desperation.

    The win means the Hunters will play the winner of the New South Wales Cup in the curtain-raiser to the Melbourne/Cowboys grand final next weekend. Their opponent will be the winner of Penrith and Wyong, played tonight.

    It’s the fourth season for the very popular PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup, and this win is their history-making first premiership.

    Final score

    PNG Hunters 12
    Sunshine Coast Falcons 10

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (29)

    • September 24th 2017 @ 5:22pm
      Gary Harvey said | September 24th 2017 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

      Sensational. Great day for Rugby League and great day for PNG. Got to get a PNG team in the NRL ASAP.

    • September 24th 2017 @ 5:42pm
      Star Healey said | September 24th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

      Just saw a premiership gifted to PNG courtesy of refs call, what was the penalty for?, does anyone know?, will we ever find out?, or was it as usual a whistle- blowers’ whim!

      • September 24th 2017 @ 8:58pm
        Peter said | September 24th 2017 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

        Let me guess, ungracious Falcons “supporter”? You could take lessons from the Falcons’ captain.

        • September 25th 2017 @ 8:06am
          Star Healey said | September 25th 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

          Wrong guess Peter i have probably seen the Falcons play twice this year, i am more discerning of referees performances and the tremendous power they wield. And why do they referee differently in finals and state of origins?, or haven’t you noticed?

          • September 25th 2017 @ 9:09am
            Peter said | September 25th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

            Star, yes I have noticed and it’s wrong. This does not mean that games are fixed or that referees are crooked or that decisions are made “on a whim.”

            • September 25th 2017 @ 9:49am
              Star Healey said | September 25th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

              Peter , i have never said that games are fixed or referees are crooked, but you would have to admit that the outcome of that game was decided by the actions of a match official awarding a penalty, again i ask why was the penalty given, will we ever know? Again i think i could be forgiven for feeling a bit cynical when a dozen such infringements in the game have passed with no action taken.

      • Roar Guru

        September 25th 2017 @ 8:09am
        Nat said | September 25th 2017 @ 8:09am | ! Report

        Gifted? PNG were coming like a wave after their first try. Falcons were lucky not be penalised more as they were continuously offside. PNG were their own worst enemies so you’re lucky they didn’t put more points on.

        Leaving Hogan out there was a disgrace.

        • September 25th 2017 @ 8:56am
          Jimmmy said | September 25th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

          Agree Nat,
          The Hogan call was poor . That’s one of the worst concussions I’ve seen. He had to go immediately.

      • September 25th 2017 @ 9:01am
        Dave_S said | September 25th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

        Get a life, sheesh!

    • September 24th 2017 @ 6:22pm
      Dan said | September 24th 2017 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

      Probably fortuitous penalty but by no means a howler. Well refereed contest.

    • September 24th 2017 @ 7:01pm
      League man said | September 24th 2017 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

      The PNG Hunters winning the Queensland Cup is a truely great sports story.

      The whole country of 8 million, which is a bigger population than Victoria and South Australia combined follow team religiously.

      Makes AFL look small time!

    • Roar Rookie

      September 24th 2017 @ 7:03pm
      Joe said | September 24th 2017 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

      Watched this using the QRL link to see how the Storm boys went for the Falcons. Firstly congrats to the Hunters for winning the Premeirship, they didn’t play that well and made a lot of errors but made up for it with enthusiasm and some high risk play which paid off in the end. Great supporters as well in the stands. Of the Storm boys Hughes had a great game at fullback and will likely be Slaters replacement and is definitely NRL standard. Jacks apart from not closing out the game with that average kick at the end had a very good game and is also NRL level as is Joe Stimson his partner on the right edge. Big Tui and Drinkwater are getting there but I thought Olam and Hawkins still need some improvement. Of course that is just one game but a high pressure game is where you should be at your best.

    • September 24th 2017 @ 8:32pm
      Lovey said | September 24th 2017 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

      Just great news.

    , , ,