Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Fourteen days can be a long time between drinks in the Queensland Rugby League Hostplus Cup.
Exactly a fortnight after nearly toppling premiership leaders Souths Logan Magpies in Proserpine, the Mackay Cutters came back to earth with a thud after a devastating 46-6 loss to Townsville Blackhawks at Jack Manski Oval.
Having played so bravely in a 14-12 defeat against the top ranked Magpies, the unpredictable Cutters were poised for a strong showing against the ninth placed Blackhawks on their away trip.
Things looked promising when livewire fullback Rayden Burns crossed for the opening try after 21 minutes with half back Brandon Finnegan adding the extras to give the visitors a 6-0 lead.
But things went pear-shaped from that moment.
A converted try by replacement half Jake Bourke levelled the scores before wingers Jodeci Baker-Tiraha and Robert Derby scooted over for four pointers to give the Blackhawks a 16-6 lead at the interval.
The try blitz continued in the second stanza with Baker-Tiraha and centre Zac Laybutt posting doubles and back rower Taniela Sadrugu crossing as Townsville notched up thirty unanswered points.
It was a disappointing display from the Cutters who had turned in encouraging performances in recent weeks to kick-start their campaign.
MEANWHILE the Cutters had no answer to a slick Blackhawks Under 21 outfit during a 48-0 whitewash in the Hastings Deering Colts competition.
Outstanding fullback prospect Ragarive Wavik was superb for Townsville – capping a best on ground display with a points haul of 20 from two tries and six goals.
The Blackhawks captain was electrifying in attack as the home side ran in nine tries with doubles from winger Jesse Yallop and boom second rower Jamal Shibasaki, hooker Jai Hansen, prop Tyrone Gunn-James and centre Elekana Suavai.
Mackay have a bye in the Hostplus Cup this weekend before squaring off with the Burleigh Bears on Saturday August 12 at UAA Park on the Gold Coast at 4pm.