The Souths Logan Magpies prevailed 22-14 in a tense and fiery clash with the QCCS Mackay Cutters at BB Print Stadium to end their season on a winning note.
With nothing but pride on the line for both sides, it was the Cutters who burst out of the blocks early. However, the Magpies ran the hosts down and took the lead just before halftime, a lead they wouldn’t surrender as several missed chances cost Mackay any hopes of a dramatic comeback.
A penalty in the opening exchanges opened the door for Mackay to show off their offensive potency, and Kurt Wiltshire duly obliged as he scored the first try of the night down the left flank just minutes into the game.
Yamba Bowie exhibited Mackay’s ability to strike from long range as well, the lightning quick fullback scooping up a Magpies loose pass and sprinting 70m to score untouched as the Cutters doubled their lead.
The Magpies got themselves back in the contest off the back of consecutive penalties, with Corey Allan muscling his way through some tackle-weary Mackay defence to bring his side to within two points of the lead.
Daniel Tamou then picked a hole in the over-eager Cutters defence to race away untouched and put Souths Logan ahead going into halftime.
Mackay found themselves on the wrong side of the whistle-blower into the second stanza as well, with Sam Scarlett taking advantage of the gifted field position, crossing from close range to push Souths Logan’s lead out beyond a converted try.
Guy Hamilton – who is destined to claim this year’s Leading Point Scorer honours – scored one of the simplest tries of his career when he caught the Mackay defence napping off the back of a scrum feed with a show-and-go all that was required to open a gaping hole in the defence as the Magpies closed in on victory.
Nicho Hynes breathed life back into the contest for Mackay when he split the Magpies defence and found John O’Brien on his outside for his first try of the season to bring the scores to within eight.
But despite both teams being reduced to 12 men after a heated altercation, the hosts lacked the polish to find any more points, and Magpies helc on for one final win in their 2018 campaign.
“I thought the boys showed some real ticker tonight,” Mackay coach Steve Sheppard said post-match.
“The boys fought hard, defended hard, they have pride in themselves. It was a good game of footy up until halftime, then the wheels fell off.
“We dropped the ball and lost possession too much and that’s what cost us.”
“We’ll have an eye on the future now, some good young boys coming through. We feel we’re a better side then our ladder position shows, and it’s an exciting time for the club moving forwards.”
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 22 (Corey Allan, Daniel Tamou, Sam Scarlett, Guy Hamilton tries; Guy Hamilton 3 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 14 (Kurt Wiltshire, Yamba Bowie, John O’Brien tries; Nicho Hynes goal) at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.
*John Bartley is a QRL correspondent covering the Mackay Cutters
Photo: File Image of Souths Logan Magpies half Sam Scarlett. QRL Media / Ritchie Duce