Thursday, May 23, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Cutters Chasing Unique Premiership Double

Mackay Cutters’ enterprising women's rugby league team are on the cusp of BMD premiership glory.

In a huge fillip for the region, Marco Peters’ in-form charges have zoomed into this Saturday’s title decider to determine the champion Queensland club for 2024.

All roads lead to Redcliffe’s Kayo Stadium where the Cutters square off with the courageous Norths Devils in what is shaping as a crackerjack contest.

Mackay will be chasing a unique women's championship double after the club captured the inaugural Harvey Norman Under 19s trophy last month with an 18-16 triumph over Brisbane Tigers.

The Cutters advanced to the BMD Grand Final by slamming Western Clydesdales 22-4 at BB Print Stadium after the Devils outclassed Burleigh Bears 36-12 at Brisbane’s Bishop Park.

A powerful second half showing by Mackay sent the Clydesdales crashing out of the title race and set up another showdown with the stout-hearted Devils.

The Cutters edged out Norths 26-22 when the teams last clashed a fortnight ago in Brisbane.

But coach Peters expects another torrid tussle with the Devils who led 18-0 against the Bears before staving off a second half challenge in last weekend’s semi-final.

The Clydesdales opened the scoring with a try to winger Georgia Sim after 13 minutes before second rower Bree Chester crashed over for a four-pointer that was converted by five eighth Kayla Shepherd to give the Cutters a 6-4 lead at the interval.

There was no stopping Mackay after the break with talented hooker Alisha Foord, fullback Krystal Blackwell and prop forward Essay Banu all grabbing tries to set up an emphatic win.

In the elusive Blackwell, wingers Libby Surha and Ebony Raftstrand-Smith, dynamic centre pairing Jasmine Peters and Shellie Long and halves Shepherd, Tahlulah Tillett and Pani Rupapere the Cutters have a back division with plenty of strike.

They are complemented by a tough and skilful forward pack led by Chester, Foord, Lily Peacock, Lyrech Mara, Shaniah Power, Lillian Yarrow and interchange bench featuring boom Queensland Under 19s playmaker Emily Bella, Sareka Mooka, Maddison Hegarty and the strong running Banu.

Star hooker Emma Manzelmann – on Origin duty with the  Queensland womens team – gives the Cutters tremendous depth along with the likes of second rower Elle Stitt, winger Montanah Best and premiership-winning Under 19s trio of half back Mersades Lawson, hooker Paityne Johns and centre Miah Powell.

Photo credit: Mackay Cutters

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