The Mackay Cutters bounced back in the best possible way to last weekend's heavy defeat by upsetting the Norths Devils 26-10 at Bishop Park.
Norths coach Rohan Smith said the strength of the Intrust Super Cup competition was underlined by the Devils’ loss to the last-placed Cutters.
The result was a surprise to bookmakers, who had the Devils short-priced favourites after they had claimed second spot with a 6-2 win-loss record.
A try in the second minute to winger Sam Wright proved a false dawn for Devils supporters as Mackay raced in five tries, including a 73rd minute solo effort to halfback Nicho Hynes.
“Every game is a big game for us and Mackay have shown they are a good attacking team. They had five line breaks in the first half against Tweed Heads last week and today they executed very well,” Smith said.
“This competition is like that. Any team can win a game especially if the other team is not playing at its best.
“We didn’t take our chances today. We had multiple opportunities in the first half and we didn’t take advantage of them.”
Mackay ran in four unanswered tries including a 43rd minute effort by Cutters hooker Jayden Hodges which deflated the Devils’ hopes of a second-half fightback.
Danny Kerr’s try in the right corner in the 67th minute provided the Devils’ only points of the second half.
Both sides will have bye next week, with the Devils to return to the Channel 9 screens in Round 11 against the Jets at Ipswich in two weeks.
“Overall, we’ve had a positive start to the year,” Smith said.
“We’ve shown that we’ve been able to learn from week-to-week and there’s a long way to go this season. We will continue to learn as the year goes on.”
Mackay’s next game will again see them travel to the south east, with the side to play Souths Logan at Davies Park on Sunday, May 20.
Mackay Cutters 26 (Sheldon Bobbert, Nick Brown, Jayden Hodges, Darcy Cox, Nicho Hynes tries; Nicho Hynes 3 goals) def Norths Devils 10 (Sam Wright, Danny Kerr tries; Todd Murphy goal) at Bishop Park