The Mackay Cutters are yet to find the rhythm that led them to a breakthrough Intrust Super Cup premiership in 2013 after suffering a 12-8 loss – their fourth of the season – to the Tweed Heads Seagulls last night.
With both clubs registering a solitary win each from the opening rounds, Saturday night’s match at Stadium Mackay was a must-win for the Cutters and Seagulls.
Within the first minutes of the game, an excellent line of attack had the Mackay Cutters pushing the Seagulls back, gaining fast ground. However some poor ball handling by
Mackay led to Tweed Heads claiming back possession just a metre away from the try line.
With the Seagulls confidence growing they continued to dominate in the forwards. It wasn't long before they were able to slip past the Cutters defence scoring the first try of the match. A successful conversion by halfback Beau Henry left the score at 6-0 at the 20 minute mark.
With as little as seven minutes left in the first half, Mackay made some clean passes and used the gaps in the Seagulls defence to their advantage. Slipping through on the left side of the field winger Zac Santo scored the Cutters’ first four pointer of the game, a massive confidence boost for the home side going into half time.
An unsuccessful conversion from fullback Liam Taylor left the score at a very close 6-4 to the Seagulls.
The second half brought to the table a momentous start by the Cutters with a break by try scorer Santo gaining the team ground they desperately needed. Tweed Heads, still thirsty for a win however, did not back down their defence, with no change being made to the scoreboard in the first 10 minutes.
Refusing to let the Seagulls gain a further lead, the Cutters line of defence grew solid. Despite the visitors pushing their line of attack as close as half a metre away from the try line, they were unable to break through, losing the ball to the Cutters with 22 minutes left on the clock.
The Cutters efforts were left unrewarded though with the score remaining at 6-4 to the visitors with as little as 18 minutes left in the game. Again and again Mackay attempted to break through the Seagulls right side of defence to no avail.
An unbelievable try by Tweed Head's Kalifa Faifai Loa with 14 minutes left on the clock showed the determination of the visiting team.
Holes in the middle of the Cutters defence made for an easy break by the winger who scored the try that would well and truly leave the Seagulls with a comfortable lead with so little time left in the game. Another successful conversion by Henry brought the score up to 12-4.
Just when the Seagulls looked set for an easy win, the Cutters proved why they can never be written off.
With a mere 90 seconds remaining until full time, left winger Chris Ulugia slipped past the Seagulls seemingly unbreakable defence, scoring the final try of the game. With an unsuccessful conversion from the Cutters the final score stood at 12-8 to the Seagulls when the clock struck zero.
The Seagulls now have the confidence they need going into round 7 when they travel to Kokopo to go head to head with the PNG Hunters. Meanwhile the Mackay Cutters will face the Burleigh Bears, who are coming off a strong win over the Sunshine Coast.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 12 (Kalifa FaiFai Loa, Damian Sironen tries; Beau Henry 2 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 8 (Zac Santo, Chris Ulugia tries) at Stadium Mackay