You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Blackhawks desperate for win in derby match against Cutters

Mackay Cutters will look to register back-to-back wins this weekend when they take on Townsville Blackhawks in Round 5 of the Hastings Deering Colts competition.

Cutters coach Tom Heggie said the 32-28 win against a strong Sunshine Coast Falcons in their last match was a nail-biter which went right down the wire.

“To be honest, it has probably been a couple of weeks in the making,” Heggie said.

“The boys have been working really hard and the results just hasn’t gone their way, so it was good to see them to come away with the points.

“[They were up and about in the sheds], but they deserved it, they’ve been working pretty hard over the last couple of weeks, so it was good to see them get the reward for their efforts.”

Blackhawks coach David Elliott said despite two narrow losses in two weeks, he was happy with how his side was tracking.

“We are certainly competing the last couple of weeks against some really good sides; Sunshine Coast and Redcliffe,” Elliott said.

“While we don’t like losing, it is good to know that if we were at our best, we were certainly capable of beating them.”

Mackay Cutters in action against Souths Logan Magpies. Photo: Marty Strecker Photography
Mackay Cutters in action against Souths Logan Magpies. Photo: Marty Strecker Photography

Heggie said the resilience and fight of his side was something they’ve been instilling into the squad all season and he was proud it came to the forefront against the Falcons.

“The most pleasing part, to be honest, was that they [Falcons] got out to a 10-point lead a couple of times in the game; and two or three weeks ago, we would have been happy to turn the toes up there, but we fought hard and stayed in the game,” Heggie said.

“We challenged them about staying in the game and being prepared to win the game in the 80th minute and it was pretty close to what happened.”

Elliott couldn’t discredit the effort and courage his side had showed in the season to date, but called for some more polished performances on both sides of the ball.

“We always pride ourselves on plenty of fight, plenty of defensive resolve and plenty of effort and that has been the trademark style of Blackhawks footy since entering the competition, but we need to make sure that when it counts, we are taking advantage of opportunities and doing our best defensively to turn teams away,” Elliott said.

“At times defensively we are really resolute and turn teams away, but other times our ruck defence is really sloppy like it was on the weekend.

“Whilst times we’ve got some really classy movements of the ball, other times we are missing opportunities that we need to be taking.”

Townsville Blackhawks Hastings Deering Colts. Photo: Scott Davis / QRL
Townsville Blackhawks Hastings Deering Colts. Photo: Scott Davis / QRL

While pleased and proud of last week’s performance, Heggie called for a continued improvement in their defence for when they come up against the Blackhawks this weekend.

“We’ve been really focussing on our goal line defence and being comfortable defending our line and the boys have really bought into it because it’s an attitude thing defence and especially goal line defence, so we have put a lot of work into that,” Heggie said.

Heggie expected the Blackhawks to be determined to bounce back after back-to-back narrow losses.

“We played them in a trial game at the start of the season and they put the cleaners through us,” Heggie said.

“I know it was only a trial, but they’re always going to be a strong side, they’re coached well and through the middle of the field is where I think they’ll be strong, but we will be ready for them."

Preparing for a northern derby himself, Elliott said the Cutters were on the rise after a good win against the Falcons, so his team would need to be on their game.

“Up in the north, any time we play the Pride or the Cutters, they are always tightly contested games because both teams really want to beat each other . . . and they’ll come up ready to play and looking to beat us at home,” Elliott said.

“For us, through the middle third is where we need to be a lot better because if we have a good defensive mindset and defend our line, the points generally seem to flow off the back of that.

“We certainly won’t be underestimating the Cutters.”

The continual rise and improvement of his side is something Heggie had noticed recently and singled out one of his key performers who have aided in that.

Mackay Cutters in the Hastings Deering Colts competition. Photo: Marty Strecker Photography
Mackay Cutters in the Hastings Deering Colts competition. Photo: Marty Strecker Photography

“We’ve had some really solid contributors over the last few weeks, but after the (Auswide Bank) Mal Meninga Cup season finished, we promoted four guys out of there,” Heggie said.

“But Ethan Sweet started in the backrow for us, and he’s got our player’s player for two weeks in a row now and for an 18-year-old, he’s been really good for us.”

Elliott hoped the rest of his squad could elevate to the level of some of his most consistent performers this season for this weekend.

“Probably our most consistent performer has been Joey Jensen, he’s our left edge backrower and doesn’t really have a bad game plus he’s all effort, very reliable and a smart footy player,” Elliott said.

“Certainly, someone who is improving over the last couple of weeks, Hamilton Taia (front rower), he doesn’t have a whole lot of experience in the Hastings Deering Colts, but would’ve played a lot of games last year, but in his last two games against the Falcons and Redcliffe, he was one of our best and most consistent performers.

“I just want to make sure we keep building on their games and get everyone else coming up to the standards those two guys are providing.”

Both Tweed Seagulls and Northern Pride bounced back from Round 3 losses with strong Round 4 wins last weekend and will be looking to continue this form into this week's clash.

Norths Devils will be aiming to make it three wins on the trot when they come up against a Central Queensland Capras side who were on the wrong end of a 62-6 scoreline Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Round 4.

Both sides suffered losses in Round 4, but Burleigh Bears will be working hard to this weekend make Ipswich Jets go another week before registering their first win of the season.

Redcliffe Dolphins recorded a narrow two-point win against Townsville Blackhawks in Round 3, but they will need to be on their game if they are to beat a Brisbane Tigers side who are looking to make it four wins in a row.

Despite having to bounce back from a 48-34 loss to the Pride in their last start, Souths Logan Magpies will be looking to aim up against a Western Mustangs team who will be putting a strong effort as they strive for a drought-breaking win.

Top-of-the-table Wynnum Manly and the fourth-placed Falcons will come head-to-head this weekend after the Seagulls registered a 56-point win last weekend, while the Falcons are coming off a four-point loss to the Capras.

Heavy lifter - Ben Farr


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.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners