The Mackay Cutters have offered a glimpse of what it’s like to live near the path of a cyclone, telling the visiting Sunshine Coast Falcons to “put tags on your gumboots” before Saturday night’s Intrust Super Cup clash.
Currently sitting second-from-bottom on the Intrust Super Cup ladder, the Cutters have been training in bare feet for the past fortnight as heavy rain associated with Tropical Cyclone Iris has hammered the Whitsunday region.
“Yep that’s right, we’re playing at one of the top levels of the sport and we’ve been training in bare feet,” laughed Cutters chief executive Troy Rovelli on Friday.
“It’s so we don’t rip the fields up and so the boys don’t destroy their footy boots.”
Rovelli said the squad had also been mostly training indoors, and would only step on the main field for a final training run the night before the game.
He revealed the greatest frustration was not necessarily felt by the players, but by the groundskeeper.
“It was a deadest process to mow the field, as we catch all the grass and dispose of it,” Rovelli said.
“The groundsman started with the smaller mower because the grass grew that dense and was waterlogged, then he had to progress to the bigger mower.
“He ended up doing the whole field three times. He was going off his nut by the end.
“The mower has left a few train tracks behind and it pretty much looks like a cane field now.”
Rovelli said there had been so much rain that he had needed to empty his home pool four times during the recent deluge.
There was momentary thought to the game being postponed, but after the cyclone turned back and conditions improved rapidly, organisers decided to proceed as normal.
“We love our footy up here,” said Rovelli.
“The game will go on.”
In an email to the Falcons to confirm the fixture, Rovelli included the line “put tags on your gumboots”.
Earlier in the week coach Steve Sheppard pointed out the Capras had lost two games on goal-kicking and expressed frustration that his kickers had limited opportunity to practise in the inclement weather.
Last week Lachlan Coote missed all five off his shots at goal in his return from hamstring injury, leading Sheppard to indicate Yamba Bowie may also share the goal-kicking duties.
The Cutters host Sunshine Coast at BB Print Stadium Mackay at 6pm Saturday.