The Absolute Enterprises Mackay Cutters registered their second win of the Intrust Super Cup season, downing the Sunshine Coast Falcons at BB Print Stadium Mackay last night.
A combination of the old and the new reinvigorated the last placed Cutters, as the halves pairing of former local league team-mates Grant Rovelli and Yosepha Kepa laid the platform for a determined victory.
The Falcons seemed to have their heads’ in the clouds in the early going, with silly handling errors and a costly penalty deep in their own half setting Mackay up perfectly for the first chance at points.
It was man of the match Kepa making his first of many impressions on the game as he delivered a perfectly timed short ball to send Patrick Mago through a gap and in to score the first try of the game for the home team.
The early momentum wasn’t with the home side for long though. Some ill-discipline of their own saw the Cutters put themselves on the back foot deep in their own half, and the Falcons swooped on the opportunity to respond when Ryley Jacks burrowed his way over to score. Tony Tumasa put the Falcons ahead with his successful conversion.
BB Print Stadium witnessed a bit of history on Mackay’s next attacking raid when Cutters stalwart Liam Taylor wrestled his way over to score off a short ball from the ruck, bringing up his 800th career point in putting Mackay back in front 10-6.
With multiple try scoring opportunities going begging for both teams, it seemed something would have to give eventually, and in the shadows of halftime it was the Falcons who caved in when Andrew Davey went charging through several tackle attempts to give the Cutters an eight-point buffer at the break 14-6.
The Falcons woes continued after halftime as well, with sloppy play letting the Cutters off the hook time and time again.
Eventually the Cutters would make them pay when Braden Uele found himself bursting into the backfield and dotting down under the posts to give the Cutters real breathing room at 20-6.
Desperate to stay in the hunt, the Falcons needed to find a spark from somewhere, and it was the ever-dangerous Nafe Seluini who got the ball rolling, scything up the heart of the Mackay defence from midfield and making huge metres in attack.
With the defence unorganised and outnumbered on the flank, it was all too easy for Curtis Scott to cross the stripe off the ensuing play-the-ball to give the visitors the lift they needed.
With the wind back in their sails, the Falcons began to mount pressure on the home team, and as the clock wound down into the final stages of the game Jacks found a hole in the Cutters defensive line, sliding over to score his second try of the game to leave the Sunshine Coast trailing by two points.
With the clock their worst enemy, the Falcons tried anything to make inroads into the Cutters defence, but their last-ditch play came unstuck and Mackay regained possession with the final minute of the game ticking down.
Not content with sitting on their haunches, Mackay went for broke with one final throw of the dice, and they hit the jackpot as Taylor popped an inside pass for a hard-charging Josh Chudleigh to ice the game under the posts for the Cutters.
MACKAY CUTTERS 26 (Patrick Mago, Liam Taylor, Andrew Davey, Braden Uele, Joshua Chudleigh tries; Liam Taylor 3 goals) def SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 18 (Ryley Jacks 2, Curtis Scott tries; Tony Tumusa 3 goals) at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.