Sport: PNG Hunters rip referee after home loss

2:35 pm on 28 March 2017

The Papua New Guinea Hunters have stuck the boot into the referee after a shock home defeat against the Norths Devils ended their unbeaten start to the Queensland Cup.

The Devils ran out 32-18 winners on Sunday, becoming just the second team to defeat the Hunters in Port Moresby.

Head coach Michael Marum lamented his side's defensive lapses, with the visitors dotting down twice in the first five minutes and up 26-6 at the half-time break.

"Allowed three or four easy tries there so...12 points in less than five minutes, you can not do that in this sort of competition so that's something we're working hard on every game, making sure we're competing all our sets," he said.

PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum.

PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum. Photo: RNZI / Melvin Levongo

The Devils scored four tries to three but also slotted four penalty goals as the Hunters found themselves on the wrong side of referee Liam Kennedy.

"Just undisciplined play from our team, especially first half [and] early part of the second half but some of the calls of the referee I don't know," said Marum post-match.

"Just because we lost the game I'm not blaming the referees here but it's a bit inconsistent with the rulings there.

"So there's a few times we got off to a good start in the second half but just penalties after penalties and probably on the stats sheet probably a lot of points came from penalty goal kicks and that's a really big concern for us.

"Maybe you can look at the performance of the referee as well so I'm not saying they have to be blamed - it's on the team - but some times it can affect the team."

Sir John Guise Stadium during the Digicel Cup grand final between Lae Snax Tigers and Rabaul Agmark Gurias.

The PNG Hunters lost only their second game in Port Moresby. Photo: Facebook/Hon Justin Tkatchenko MP

Norths Devils coach Mark Gliddon was delighted with the performance of his side but acknowledged a few tight calls had gone their way.

"Two sides really ripped into each other and the PNG boys, definitely the Hunters are a top four side in my opinion and to compete with them and get a result over here speaks volumes of our 17," he said.

"They worked hard, they've worked hard since day one and we've been very lucky, some times you need a little bit of luck with injuries and we haven't received too many.

"It showed in our performance today - we've been able to put the same side on the park week in week out and when you can do that it means luck is on your side.

"Obviously bringing in Chris Sandow and he had a couple of big plays today ,a couple of 40-20s when we were struggling in that second half really helped us.

"A couple of bounces of the ball went our way. Sometimes luck favours us and sometimes over here it doesn't favour you - not very often - I mean they haven't lost many games of footy over here.

"So maybe it was one of those days where a little bit of luck went our way and a couple of 50/50 calls probably went our way and sometimes that happens. To win footy games sometimes you need a bit of luck."

Chris Sandow scores a try during his stint with Warrington.

Former NRL and Super League star Chris Sandow provided impact for the Devils off the bench. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

There are no more unbeaten teams after four rounds of the Queensland Cup, with the Townsville Blackhawks and Wynnum Manly Seagulls suffering defeats against the Redcliffe Dolphins and Mackay Cutters.

Five teams are tied on six points at the top of table, with the Hunters fifth on points differential.