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Historic 'super Saturday' of football in Mackay

Mackay's junior and women's teams helped kick off the statewide competition season on Saturday with a massive day of football at BB Print Stadium, hosting Townsville in all grades across the day.

With players eager to impress and an excited crowd in attendance, the COVIDSafe event was the first taste of state-level football for the region in a full year.

The day kicked off with Round 1 of the Cyril Connell Challenge competition between Mackay Cutters and Townsville Blackhawks, which was a high-scoring and free-flowing game that featured plenty of end-to-end football with both sides scoring five tries a-piece.

But ultimately, the result came down to the goal-kicking of Lachlan Erba - the Townsville five-eighth's perfect day with the boot giving the visitors an exhilarating 30-28 win.

The Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup season commenced next with the Blackhawks making it look easy.

Centres Dudley Dotoi and Xavier Chatfield-Mooka caused havoc down the flanks, generating space and time for Townsville's midfield players to take full advantage of in the game.

A neat kick-through for Toby Strecker was the only real bright spark for Mackay with Townsville romping to a 48-10 victory.

Player to bank on - Dudley Dotoi

History was made in the next contest as the first ever Harvey Norman Under 19s premiership game kicked off on Mackay soil.

Vanique Malayta etched her name in the record books as the first try scorer for the Mackay Cutters and their confidence continued to rise throughout the contest, especially with captain Ataliah Love leading the way with a double of her own.

Kayla Shepherd was another standout in the middle as a raft of quick-passing and second-phase play left the Blackhawk defence in unable to contain the play.

A penalty goal after the full-time siren completed an almost flawless display, the 64-0 victory bringing the local crowd to its feet.

History was made when Mackay Cutters and Townsville Blackhawks played in the first Harvey Norman Under 19 match. All photos: Marty Strecker Photography
History was made when Mackay Cutters and Townsville Blackhawks played in the first Harvey Norman Under 19 match. All photos: Marty Strecker Photography

Following the Round 1 matches in the three junior grades, the day was wrapped up with two trial contests.

The Blackhawks were too strong in their 42-6 win in the Hastings Deering Colts match, whilst the Cutters showed good promise and grit for the upcoming season ahead despite going down 26-18 in the Intrust Super Cup matchup.

The Cutters will get their 2021 Intrust Super Cup campaign underway against the Redcliffe Dolphins on Saturday, March 20.


Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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