Hostplus Cup Team Named for PNG Trip & Colts Side Selected for Derby

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The Mendi Blackhawks are unchanged from their loss to the Capras, for the penultimate round of the Hostplus Cup season. While a huge Hunters crowd will be cheering on the hosts in Port Moresby on Saturday, PNG international Robert Derby is likely to get plenty of support from the fans, even though he’ll be wearing the black and green. A Kumuls call up for Zac Laybutt only appears a matter of time and he hasn’t been ruled out of the game despite not being named. The centre is racing the clock to be for fit the match, after missing the team’s trip to Rockhampton with an ankle injury.

Townsville last played in PNG in 2019, and Football Operations Manager Adrian Thomson says the club is embracing retuning to the rugby league loving country.

“It’s obviously been a few years since we’ve been over there, mainly due to the pandemic, so the boys are excited for the trip. We’ve got a fair few that will be travelling to PNG for the first time so that will be new experience for them.”

The Mendi Blackhawks are aiming to do the double over the Hunters after winning a one-sided encounter at Jack Manski Oval earlier this year 54-4. The sides sit tenth and eleventh on the ladder respectively with the visitors only above their opponents on points differential.

Townsville’s under 21 team will bus it up the highway for a derby with the Northern Pride in round 15 of the Hastings Deering Colts competition. Check out the side below.