THE QCCS Mackay Cutters produced their finest performance of the season thus far with a stunning upset of the Intrust Super Cup’s joint competition leaders Easts Tigers at BB Print Stadium last night.
After falling behind early, the home team put on a dazzling display of speed and power running to leave their more fancied opponents shell-shocked, as they piled on the points in a highly convincing 33-10 victory.
However, the signs were ominous for Mackay early on, dropping the ball cold from the opening kick-off and gifting instant possession to the form team of the competition.
The Tigers made no mistake in capitalising on the opportunity, with Curtis Scott getting a swirling bomb kick batted down onto his chest by his outside man to give Easts the early lead.
It took mere minutes for Easts to strike again, this time with Billy Walters splitting the Cutters defence up the middle of the park before finding Brodie Croft on his inside to give Easts a double-digit lead almost in time with the clock.
The Cutters made sure Easts didn’t have it all their own way though, with the home side finding joy down the right flank as Nathan Saumalu got the ball on an overlap and slid across in the corner to send the teams to the sheds separated by six points.
After a poor second half showing last time out, the Cutters were determined to keep their foot on the gas in front of their home faithful, and made their intentions clear when a brilliant short ball saw Yamba Bowie shoot clear of the Easts defence and link up with Cooper Bambling to level the game shortly after the resumption.
The hosts then began to turn on the attacking flair, rolling down the field with flamboyant second phase play that was capped off with a bat-on from Nicholas Hynes that found the hands of co-captain Andrew Davey who crossed the try line to put his team in front.
Emboldened by the scoreline, the Cutters began to attack with confidence, while Easts’ defence began to crumble beneath the glut of possession against them.
Setaimata Sa muscled his way over in the corner to push Mackay’s lead to double figures, and Braden Uele was next to score as he charged onto a nice pass from close range, before Bambling coolly slotted a field goal to extend the lead to beyond three converted tries.
With the game turned on its head, Easts were right off their game as they found themselves offside from an attempted short kick off to give the Cutters one last crack at them.
With a raucous crowd behind them, the Cutters broke the 30-point barrier as a cut out pass found the chest of Yamba Bowie to ice the game and secure a tremendous upset victory.
MACKAY CUTTERS 33 (Nathan Saumalu, Cooper Bambling, Andrew Davey, Setaimata Sa, Braden Uele, Yamba Bowie tries; Cooper Bambling 4 goals; Cooper Bambling field goal) def EASTS TIGERS 10 (Curtis Scott, Brodie Croft tries; Billy Walters goal) at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.