Townsville Blackhawks hosted Mackay Cutters at Jack Manski Oval in a northern derby for their Round 10 clash of the Hostplus Cup.
The Cutters got off to an early lead on their way to a 28-18 win through Jake Riley as he dived in the corner, however, the conversion by Brandon Finnegan was unsuccessful so the lead remained 4-0.
Match: Blackhawks v Cutters
Round 10 -
Venue: Jack Manski Oval, Townsville
The Cutters were able to score again, this time after spreading the ball across the field and Blake Paskins found a hole where he extended his team's lead and the this time, the conversion attempt was successful.
The Blackhawks answered back as Robert Lui picked up a loose ball which allowed him to break through the Cutters defence and offload the ball to Jaelen Feeney who beat all of his opponents in a foot race to score an 80-metre try and Kyle Laybutt’s conversion was successful.
Soon after Paskins went over for his second try of the day as he stepped around his defenders, which opened a hole for himself to dive through.
Despite a strong first half performance from the Cutters, it ended on a sour note for Morgan McWhirter who entered the sheds early after being sent to the sin bin for an infringement and the Blackhawks took advantage by taking a penalty goal to close the gap.
The halftime score stood at 14-8 in favour of Mackay.
In the second half, the Cutters again opened up the scoring, thanks to Laitia Moceidreke who fought hard to keep himself in the field of play.
As the home team looked to be on the attack, an intercept from Mackay's Thomas Sly saw him run the length of the field to score.
Keeping his team in the game, Kalifia Faifai-Loa scored in the corner with an acrobat leap over the try line to attempt to launch a comeback for the home team, but the conversion as unsuccessful.
While the Blackhawks desperately trying to hold off anymore tries scored against them, it wasn’t enough to stop Ross Bella as he scored for the visitors.
Kyle Laybutt found opportunity for his team to once again get back in the game as he broke through the defence to score in his milestone game and the conversion by Shaun Nona was successful.
This game moved Laybutt to equal standing for most games played for the Blackhawks with Corey Jensen on 78 games.
Coach of the Mackay Cutters Dave Elliott was pleased with his team's effort.
“Our last few games, we have played some good teams and had always been in the contests,” Elliott said.
“But we knew we had to come up here and be at our best today.
“We were confident that if we put it together we could come up here and win.
“I was most proud of the boys defence today and the way they turned up.
“A win is a win and for any coach, we don’t mind where we win.”
Next week, the Blackhawks travel to Rockhampton to take on Central Queensland Capras.
Match: Capras v Blackhawks
Round 11 -
Venue: Browne Park, Rockhampton
The Cutters will be at home against Redcliffe Dolphins.
Match: Cutters v Dolphins
Round 11 -
Venue: BB Print Stadium, Mackay