Sport: PNG Hunters determined to exorcise finals ghost, keep season alive

8:30 am on 3 September 2016

The Papua New Guinea Hunters insist they won't be taking anything for granted in tomorrow's sudden-death Queensland Cup rugby league finals match against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

The Hunters have won all 11 matches this season at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby, including a 34-4 drubbing of Sunshine Coast only one week ago.

Tomorrow's clash will be also the first home finals match in the team's three-year history.

But coach Michael Marum said there was no room for complacency.

"It's going to be a different game - finals football is different from normal season games - but preparation-wise we've lifted intensity at training. We've started to focus really hard on our small things and make sure we work hard at training and that's what we've been doing throughout. Everyone is excited, players are competing for spots in the team again but (it's a) really exciting time," he said.

PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum.

PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum. Photo: EMTV

Last season the Hunters finished second in the regular season off the back of a 17-match unbeaten streak.

But back to back defeats against the Townsville Blackhawks and Ipswich Jets ended their campaign one game short of the grand final.

Michael Marum said they knew what went wrong 12 months ago and now was their chance to put things right.

"We thought it was all going to be ok for us but then before we even knew it the season was over for us. We want to do well from last year - we understand it's going to be tough this year because we finished fourth and it's going to be elimination games all throughout until the big one but we'll take on game at a time and make sure we focus hard on our training and our preparation towards those games," he said.

The third-placed Townsville Blackhawks host the Easts Tigers in the other elimination match tomorrow afternoon, which is being broadcast on Channel 9 in Australia.

The Hunters agreed to pay the costs of the Townsville broadcast instead of hosting the Channel 9 match in Port Moresby in order to save money.

The two elimination winners will face the Redcliffe Dolphins and Burleigh Bears next weekend.