Justin Olam breaks through PNG Hunters defense for the try line.
Image: Level Eleven photography
The Sunshine Coast's crushing win over Papua New Guinea at Bokarina on Saturday was the team's best performance of the season, according to ball-player Alex Bishop.
Ominously for its state league rivals, the Falcons easily accounted for the dangerous Hunters 38-14 to surge to the top of the 14-team Intrust Super Cup ladder midway through round six.
Halfback Guy Hamiton pulled the strings for the host in an eye-catching display but it was the side's defence which again paved the way to victory.
The Sunshine Coast has the best defensive record in the state league and it showed, with bone-jarring hits throughout.
"It's been our best performance by far," Bishop said.
"We were in the game and we took it away from them (PNG) with the way we played."
The Falcons led 14-4 at the break and grasped their opportunity in the second stanza.
"When the game was in the balance, we kicked away and held them off."
"PNG is (traditionally) quite good at getting a sniff and coming home with a wet sail so for us to close out the game the way we did was the most pleasing thing.
"Once again our forwards were unbelievable with the way they hit; they're so physical."
The Hunters slipped from third to sixth as a result of the loss, with three games remaining this round.
"PNG will be in the finals. The way they play, you know you're in for a battle," Bishop, the stand-in skipper, said.
"They run hard, they tackle hard, everything they do is fast so for us to defend the way we did was exceptional and then our attack benefited from that."
The performance was more admirable given the Falcons were missing injured captain Dane Hogan and had a disjointed lead-up to the game.
The side expected to have the services of Storm-contracted player Tui Kamikamica, who flew from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast late in the week.
But he was suddenly re-called to his NRL club on Saturday, ahead of its clash with the Sharks on Sunday.
The likes of Vincent Leuluai and young Lachlan Timm covered his absence with strong showings, with the latter playing big minutes with another promising performance.
Melbourne also instructed Falcons coach Craig Ingebrigtsen to restrict Storm-contracted centre Justin Olam's game time to just 40 minutes.
Article by The Sunshine Coast Daily.
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