Cutters shine in All Stars trial
The QCCS Mackay Cutters impressed in their first hit-out at BB Print Stadium for season 2018, downing the Mackay Men of League All Stars 36-6 in a solid display on Saturday night.
An early blitz from the new-look Cutters team left the possession-starved All Stars stunned, with the game essentially wrapped up by halftime as the Intrust Super Cup squad enjoyed a comfortable victory in the preseason encounter.
Trial game or not, the Cutters were out to make a statement in front of a big home crowd, and it didn’t take long for them to get on the scoreboard with young fullback Jayden O'Shannessy showing off his nimble footwork, weaving his way over to score just minutes into the contest.
The All Stars had yet to even hold the ball before they were punished again, Walter Lauenstein the benefactor of some good second-phase play by the Cutters, touching down in the corner off the back of an offload to double the deficit.
The Cutters had found a chink in the All Stars defence and began to exploit it to great effect. Working the ball wide, Lauenstein collected his second try of the night off a neat inside pass, before back-rower Tyson Martin burst his way through some flimsy tackling on the overmatched left flank just moments later to add his name to the growing try scorers list.
The Cutters weren’t quite done yet, nailing a 40/20 kick just seconds from the break before Bailey Hartwig pounced on a grubber kick to the in goal to send them to the sheds with a commanding 24-0 lead over the All Stars.
The heat and humidity of the Tropics began to catch up to both teams as the game turned into a war of attrition, ball handling at a premium for much of the second stanza as fatigue set in.
The Cutters eventually showed signs of life with the ball, quick hands getting the footy from one side of the field to the other, Ryan Schill straightening up against the stretched All Stars defence and powering over to score.
Luke Ash became the sole try scorer for the Men of League All Stars as he managed to burrow his way under the Cutters’ goal line defence, but it was merely consolation, as Jared Maguire iced the contest and claimed the Greg Sutherland Shield for the Mackay Cutters with an easy try off the back of a scrum in the final minute.
Fulltime: Mackay Cutters 36 def Mackay Men of League All Stars 6