Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The Hostplus Cup Mackay Cutters had local fans cheering as they played out their last game of the 2023 season, achieving their first win at home for the season.
The beleaguered side secured their third win of the season, joining round 22 opponents Western Clydesdales on 10 premiership points and finishing the season 14th on the ladder.
In the first clash between the two sides since the Clydesdales returned to the state competition, the Toowoomba-based visitors drew first blood in the fourth minute before Cutters’ winger Walter Lauenstein scored a quickfire double to open the home side’s account.
A short kick off got the Clydesdales immediately back in the game, but a 28th minute try to interchange player Brandon Russell saw the Cutters hit the sheds with a 16-12 lead.
The home side then turned it on in the second half, showing the home crowd what they’re capable with tries to Kobe Bone in the 45th minute, Rayden Burns in the 67th and Bayley Gill in the 70th.
A consolation try to Clydesdales winger Jerome Taulaga came in the 74th minute before Cutters five-eighth fittingly put the icing on the cake, getting the crowd to their feet with a 77th minute try.
Five out of seven conversions for Brandon Finnegan saw the Mackay Cutters defeat the Western Clydesdales 38-18.
Earlier in the day, a huge second half comeback resulted in a thrilling two-point win for the Hastings Deering Colts Cutters again taking on the Western Clydesdales.
The see-sawing affair opened with a first minute try to Cutters hooker Seth McGilvray, before the visitors piled on three first half tries to finish 4-16 at the break.
The Cutters then crawled their way back into the contest with second half tries to Corey Shepherd, Kane Simon, Tyrese Parter and Liam Doherty.
With the lead changing back and forth, the Clydesdales five-eighth Nicholas Carrie secured a second half double, including a 75th minute try that had the scores at 28-26 with a kick to come.
Kai Duggan was unable to add the extras, the visitors falling two points short at full time.
The Hastings Deering Colts Mackay Cutters finished the 2023 season on 17 competition points, placing ninth on the ladder and falling agonisingly short of playing finals.
Both teams have already made key recruitments ahead of the 2024 season, including the signing of experienced international Mahe Fonua.
Saturday saw wins to both the Hastings Deering Colts and Hostplus Cup Mackay Cutters sides. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie