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Two late strikes help Cutters steal win from Capras

The Mackay Cutters scored two late tries to pull off a remarkable 28-24 win against the CQ Capras at Marley Brown Oval this Saturday in a hard-fought match by both sides.

After going down last week to the Blackhawks, the clash against the last-placed Capras was set to be a must-win affair for the Cutters, who remain desperate to try and keep their 2019 season alive.

However, it was the Capras who struck first, with centre BJ Aufaga-Toomaga crossing in just the third minute, before then adding the extras to make it 6-0 early in the match.

It only took four minutes before the Cutters had a reply of their own however, when Carlin Anderson scored his third try of the year, before then also adding the extras to level the scores.

Luke George was then the next to get in on the scoring spree for the Capras, when he was over in the 11th minute – with Aufaga-Toomaga this time unsuccessful in his conversion attempt.

Despite a spirited first half from the Capras, it was the Cutters who went into the sheds with a two-point buffer, thanks to halfback Sam Cook scoring in the 28th minute.

The Cutters were quick to extend their lead in the second half, when Lloyd White crashed over only moments after play resumed; with Anderson successfully converting the try to make it 18-10.

The Capras refused to go away however, with Aufaga-Toomaga snaring his second try for the evening, before then yet again adding the extras.

Much to the delight of the Gladstone crowd, the Capras then hit the lead thanks to Blake Moore’s try in the 57th minute. Aufaga-Toomaga successfully kicked the conversion to give his side a 22-18 lead.

Having only won one game this season, the Capras looked to have pulled of an unlikely victory when Aufaga-Toomaga knocked over a penalty goal to give his side a six-point lead heading into the final ten minutes of the match.

The Cutters were not going to go down without a fight however, with Anderson scoring his second try of night in the 73rd minute to reduce the deficit to two points.

With only five-minutes remaining in the match, the Capras seemed set to hold on for a gutsy victory, only for Jayden Hodges to break their hearts, when he went over in the 76th minute to give the Cutters a narrow four-point victory at the death.

Cutter coach Stephen Sheppard was pleased with his side’s performance against a Capras outfit who pushed his side all the way in an entertaining contest.

“I really thought the Capras came to play tonight,” Sheppard said. “They played some good footy and we just couldn’t control their offloads.

“Luckily for us, we scored some nice tries at the end there and got the result.”

With his side desperate to stay in touch with the top-eight, Sheppard praised his side’s ability to stay in the fight throughout the whole match.

“Any win is a good win at this stage of the year and I was pleased with the fight they showed tonight, especially late in the game, they stayed in the fight and got the result in the end.”

Both sides will be heading to the bush next week thanks to the Intrust Super Cup’s ‘Get in the Game’ Country Week.

The Cutters will take on the third-placed Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Cloncurry next Saturday.

The Capras will take on the Tweed Seagulls in Ilfracombe.