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Falcons fly high against Mackay

The Sunshine Coast Falcons have impressed their home fans with a dominant 58-10 win over the Mackay Cutters at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The win sees the Coast move into outright fourth on the competition ladder, nudging their for-and-against into the black for the first time since Round 3.

Mackay travelled south with a point to prove after a last-start drubbing at the hands of Souths Logan, but it was the home team striking first.

It took only seven minutes for the Falcons to cross through their big-man Patrice Siolo, displaying some sparkling, late footwork to pierce the line and barge over.

With a blistering start to 2021, the Falcons enforcer continues to solidify his reputation as one of the competitions best props, playing big minutes and getting through a mountain of defensive work.

The home team kept their foot on the accelerator and started testing the Cutters' edges with their halves delivering some crisp service to their powerful outside backs.

Centre Will Toloi had an afternoon to remember - not only crossing for his first try in the Intrust Super Cup, but he got himself across the white strip twice more, bagging a hat-trick along with today's player of the match honours.

The avalanche of points continued throughout the first half with the Falcons heading into the half-time break having scored 28 unanswered points.

BJ Aufaga-Toomaga. Photo: Vanessa Hafner / QRL
BJ Aufaga-Toomaga. Photo: Vanessa Hafner / QRL

The Cutters were hoping for a reprieve in the second 40, but the Falcons were clinical with their execution and gave the visitors very few opportunities to get themselves back in the game.

Mackay's halves were gutsy and showed glimpses of creativity, with both of their two tries coming from very classy kicks. But any excitement around the visiting team was short-lived after the home side wrestled back control of the match and ran in five second half tries.

Former NRL star Jarrod Mullen had a frustrating return from his recent shoulder injury, finding himself on the receiving end of an accidental elbow resulting in a significant cut above his eye.

The veteran half played less than a quarter of the game after having to leave the field for a head injury assessment and treatment of the wound. While he did return to the game after passing his HIA, he was forced to depart again soon after when the cut continued to bleed through the bandages.

It was a tough day at the office for Mackay. Photo: Vanessa Hafner / QRL
It was a tough day at the office for Mackay. Photo: Vanessa Hafner / QRL

The Falcons co-captain and kicker Todd Murphy was again clinical with the boot, converting nine from 10 attempts. He was also instrumental in directing the home team around the park, knowing exactly when to insert himself into the attack.

Coach Sam Mawhinney was understandably pleased, saying at the post-match ceremony that he was pretty impressed with the effort shown from his side.

"We knew Mackay were coming off a hiding against Souths a couple of weeks ago and would come here to have a red-hot crack, so we wanted to start well, and we really did that and we set up that victory in the first half," the Falcons coach said.

"The most pleasing thing is that we went on with it in the second half, which we haven’t been doing so it’s a step in the right direction."

Mawhinney and his men will now turn their attention to what will be the match of the round and their biggest challenge of the season when they host the high-flying Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

The 2019 grand finalists currently sit alone atop the competition ladder after a perfect start to the season, making light work of the Capras to keep their unbeaten streak intact.

The Cutters will travel north to Townsville and face the Blackhawks who fell agonisingly short to Redcliffe earlier in the day - that matchup next Sunday live and free from 2pm on Kayo Freebies, 9Now, QRL.com.au, the Intrust Super Cup Facebook page and Intrust Super Cup app.