PNG captain’s inspiring QCup season

PNG Hunters captain Ase Boas is the man of the moment, but the hero of Sunday’s Queensland Cup victory is more concerned about the future.

The five-eighth completed the perfect season when he picked up the Duncan Hall Medal for man of the match in a thrilling 12-10 defeat of Sunshine Coast at Suncorp Stadium.

His last-minute grubber found Willie Minoga under the posts and the captain’s conversion gave his side their first title since the club’s 2014 inception.

“I wasn’t panicked; you have to fight until the last second,” he said.

Boas was also Queensland Cup player of the season and led his side to their first minor premiership.

He expects epic scenes when they touch down in Port Moresby on Monday.

But the 28-year-old is happy to palm off the accolades and focus on PNG’s next generation.

NRL expansion in PNG has been endorsed by the likes of James Graham and Matthew Johns in the last two weeks and Boas says it’s not a far-fetched concept.

“I think they’re working towards it and hopefully boys coming through the ranks can get in there, that’s the dream and we are setting the platform for it,” he said.

“A win will really inspire them to put in with their training to one day be a Hunter and one day have a team in NRL.”

Boas laughed off the prospect of earning his own NRL contract, despite his coach hinting that several players were in the mix for promotions.

“My role is to get team to the final, from there whatever NRL team wants to look at me I don’t even mind, I’m happy about it,” he said.

A record Queensland Cup crowd of 11,260 watched as Boas engineered the unlikely, last-minute victory.

The Hunters trailed 10-0 at halftime after Sunshine Coast’s Matthew Soper-Lawler and Joe Stimson took advantage of some nervous defence to cross inside the first seven minutes.

Boas’ younger brother Watson pegged it back to a four-point margin immediately after the break.

And despite numerous handling errors, PNG found the winning try at the death as concussed Sunshine Coast captain Dane Hogan watched from the sidelines after a sickening accidental head clash.

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