Levington Melvin Levongo | PNG-based QRL Correspondent
The PNG Hunters were held scoreless for the second time in two weeks, with the Northern Pride proving too strong in their Round 2 game at Port Moresby.
The Pride levelled the head-to-head ledger to 5-5 following their dominant 24-0 win, which see the NQ side have two wins from their opening two matches.
The win puts the side in a good position coming up to next weekend’s big derby clash against the Townsville Blackhawks.
However, for the PNG Hunters, they again struggled to score points, with penalties and handling errors handing the Pride too many opportunities.
The Hunters were their own enemies as they made crucial errors in their red zone, and the North Queensland side capitalised, as winger Mathew Musumeci crossed in the corner with just three minutes on the clock.
Jake Clifford converted the try for a 6-0 lead which was soon extended when prop William Bugden crossed over for another four pointer just minutes after the first try.
It came after a wonderful pass by the hooker Conner Jones to find his forward.
Clifford converted the try to give the visitors and early 12-point lead.
And the pain continued for the Hunters, with a lot of missed tackles and unnecessary penalties given away.
The next Pride player to score was centre Shawn Bowen who beat defenders to cross after a short ball by Clifford.
Young Cowboys half Clifford again converted the try and his side had an 18-0 lead going into the halftime break.
The second half however was an arm wrestle as the Hunters tried their best to play catch up football.
But again, they were not able score points as they side continued to work on their new combinations this season, including with halfback William Mone and five-eighth Charlie Simon who have come in to guide the side in the absence of the Boas brothers.
The Hunters forwards however did have a good game, and will be looking for more improvement as the season goes on.
The Pride scored one more try in the game, this time in the corner through fullback Jack Murphy.
The final blow to the Hunters was delivered when Clifford kicked a penalty goal to extend their lead to the final score of 24-0.
The Hunters will play 2017 grand final opponents the Sunshine Coast Falcons next week in the XXXX Rivalry Round.