The Mackay Cutters hoodoo over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls struck again as the visitors won 28-10 on a wet and wild Saturday night at BMD Kougari Oval.
Mackay put together a spirited second half, scoring 24 unanswered points to shock the favoured Seagulls at home for the second year in a row.
The visitors found themselves in a 10-0 hole after 40 minutes and all indicators were pointing to a convincing Wynnum victory.
However in his half-time address Mackay coach Kim Williams convinced his charges that opportunities would come and that when they did, he was confident they could turn one try into two, then two into three.
After the break, the Cutters delivered exactly what the coach ordered and the catalyst for the turnaround was halves duo Rex Johnson and Cameron Cullen.
Early in the second half with the score at 10-0 in favour of Wynnum, the home side were pressing hard on the Cutters’ line with intentions of putting the game away.
The Seagulls kept trying to find a way in through Mitchell Frei, however Johnson showed his Cutter teammates the level of courage required to win the match by chopping down the hard running back rower multiple times on the line.
One tackle in particular stood out when the diminutive halfback launched himself without fear or self-preservation at Frei’s legs and forced a dropped ball which spurred the Cutters’ second half blitz.
Josh Chudleigh kicked off the scoring for Mackay with a sharp dart from dummy half. He would score again later in the match to make it four tries in two weeks for the in-form interchange utility.
Next to score was Aleki Falepaini who ran onto a nice short ball at the defensive line from fellow middle man Sam Hoare.
Centre Justin Tavae then absolutely flipped momentum in favour of the Cutters with an entertaining 90m solo run off a scrum that put the visitors in front 18-10 with 12 minutes remaining.
Rounding out the scoring was Cullen who picked up a well-deserved try from a show and go which caught tired Seagulls’ defenders off-guard.
Wynnum coach Jon Buchanan will be scratching his head and wondering where it all went wrong after what was arguably the Seagulls’ best half of football this season in the first half.
They will have an opportunity to make amends at home against the South Logan Magpies on Sunday afternoon, whilst the Cutters will return to Mackay to meet the Easts Tigers on Saturday night.
MACKAY CUTTERS 28 (Josh Chudleigh 2, Justin Tavae, Cameron Cullen, Aleki Falepaini tries; Rex Johnson 4 goals) def WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 10 (Daniel Ogden, Mitchell Buckett tries; Matthew Seamark goal) at BMD Kougari Oval.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Daniel Ogden 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matthew Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Greg Eden 6. Patrick Templeman 7. Matthew Seamark (c) 8. Ben Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Aaron Rockley 11. Jon Grieve 12. John Te Reo 13. Mitchell Frei 14. Brendan McKinnon 15. Brendon Gibb 16. Tanu Wulf 17. Stephen Coombe
Mackay Cutters: 1. Sam Clune 2. Jordan Pereira 17. Mitch Day 4. Justin Tavae 5. Buchanan Rawhiti 6. Cameron Cullen 7. Rex Johnson 8. Sam Hoare 14. Michael Sio 18. John Asiata 11. Tyson Martin 12. Kelvin Nielsen 13. Chris Gesch (c) 15. Aleki Falepaini 16. Josh Chudleigh 10. Brad Lupi 20. Pulou Vaituutuu