The Papua New Guinea Hunters have extended their Intrust Super Cup winning streak to three games after downing the Townsville Blackhawks 12-8 in Port Moresby.
Captain Ase Boas was a late omission for the home side with hooker Wartovo Puara Junior filling in at five-eighth and Silas Gahuna taking over at hooker.
Ty Carucci scored the first try of the match on the quarter hour to give the visitors a 4-0 lead at the break.
The Hunters hit back five minutes into the second half, with winger Junior Rau scoring in the corner and Watson Boas slotting the conversion to give them a narrow two point lead at the National Football Stadium.
Stanton Albert powered over the line in the 64th minute to mark his comeback match with a try, as Boas converted to extend the home advantage to eight points.
Former Samoa international Kalifa Faifai Loa managed a late consolation for the Blackhawks a minute from full-time but goal-kicking proved costly for the North Queensland side, who suffered their first defeat in seven games.
The Hunters moved up one place to ninth overall, while Townsville dropped one spot to third.
The Hunters are away to the East Tigers this weekend.