The Sunshine Coast Falcons are back in the Intrust Super Cup winners’ circle after defeating the QCCS Mackay Cutters 32-4, in turn notching up their first win in eight years at BB Print Stadium.
Light rain and greasy conditions were factors early in the contest, but it was Mackay who ultimately proved to be their own worst enemy as they squandered possession and scoring chances at an alarming rate before the floodgates opened against them in the final stanza, with the Falcons cruising to a comfortable victory.
The tone was set early for the Cutters as a simple knock on paved the way for Sunshine Coast’s first points of the night, a sweeping backline movement out to the left flank had Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards slipping through a gap in the Mackay defence to score untouched.
Mackay had two high-quality chances go begging as they searched for an equalising try, but finally found their way to the try line as they shifted to the ball quickly to the right flank, with centre Blake Atherton powering his way over to level the game for the hosts.
Ill-discipline would stifle the attacking efforts of both teams even as the weather began to improve, but it was Sunshine Coast who had the final say in the first half, forcing a goal-line dropout from Mackay before Harrison Muller pushed his way over the try line to give the visitors a 10-4 halftime lead.
Cutters Caught in Quicksand as Falcons fly
The Cutters remained on the back foot into the second half, caught off guard by a tricky low-driven Falcons kick off before conceding a penalty in the ensuing set that saw the visitors kick themselves to an eight-point lead.
Frustration would mount quickly for Mackay as they came up empty on two more genuine scoring opportunities, before Lachlan Timm burrowed his way over to extend the Falcons’ lead beyond two converted tries.
Sunshine Coast would put the game out of reach as five-eighth Brentt Warr found himself on the end of a slick movement down the right edge, before the weary Cutters defence let Harry Grant all but walk past them from 10m out as a simple dummy and run had him scoring next to the uprights.
One final penalty goal on the stroke of fulltime would seal the first win on Mackay soil in almost a decade for the Sunshine Coast Falcons, as the Cutters were left to rue the plethora of chances they let slip away.
“We didn’t give ourselves any opportunity tonight.” Mackay coach Steve Sheppard lamented post-match.
“We turned over possession, completed at 50% and couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm. The boys had a good attitude all week, and I thought we were in for a good performance, but unfortunately in a game scenario we weren’t giving ourselves a chance.
“We know we’re a better team than that and we all need to be accountable for our ball control and be better next week.”
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 32 (Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards, Harrison Muller, Lachlan Timm, Brentt Warr, Harry Grant tries; Khan Ahwang 6 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 4 (Blake Atherton try) at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.
*John Bartley is a QRL correspondent covering the Mackay Cutters