Thursday, July 11, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Cutters Soar Over Seagulls

The Mackay Cutters secured an impressive 20-14 victory over the Tweed Seagulls in the QRL Hostplus Cup, with crucial tries from Jaxon Purdue, Josh Smith, and Riley Dean.
Playing a pivotal role in the number six jumper, Purdue, fresh from his successful NRL stint with the North Queensland Cowboys, combined seamlessly with halfback Riley Dean. This dynamic duo was instrumental in helping the Cutters notch their sixth win of the season, keeping their finals hopes alive.
Purdue, a standout Queensland Under 19s star, opened Mackay’s scoring with a try at the 28-minute mark, putting the team ahead 6-4 after an early four-pointer from Seagulls winger Brayden McGrady. A penalty goal by Tweed’s fullback and skipper Lindon McGrady levelled the score at 6-all going into halftime.
The Cutters regained the lead shortly after the break when centre Josh Smith crossed for a converted try. Dean then added a penalty goal, extending the lead to 14-6. Dean further showcased his skills by scoring and converting another try six minutes later, setting the visitors up for victory at 20-6.
Despite a converted try from Seagulls' second-rower Ioane Seiuli and a late penalty goal from Lindon McGrady, the Cutters held firm for a dramatic finish.
This win keeps the Cutters in ninth place on the ladder, tied on 16 points with the Souths Logan Magpies, who dominated the Wynnum Manly Seagulls 40-10 at Brisbane’s Kougari Oval.
Mackay coach Michael Comerford praised the contributions of Purdue, winger Semi Valemei, hooker Jai Hansen, and forward Jamal Shibasaki, all of whom delivered strong performances after being included from the Cowboys system.
The Cutters will face another crucial match this Sunday at BB Print Stadium, hosting the sixth-placed Sunshine Coast Falcons at 2pm.

Gagai Back In Maroons

Coach Billy Slater has recalled Dane Gagai to the starting lineup after he missed last year's series and was named 18th man for Game II this year.
The 33-year-old, who debuted in a decider at Suncorp Stadium in 2015 and has since played 22 games for the Maroons, earning the FOGS Dick 'Tosser' Turner Medal, expressed his excitement: "Obviously, it's a special feeling, being back in the 17."
The Newcastle Knights star recounted when Slater called him last year to let him know he wasn't in the team: "It wasn't an easy decision for him, but it was one he had to make moving forward with the Queensland side and winning the series last year. He reassured me it was not a 'that's it, you're done' type phone call."
"My goal is just to go out there and do my job, as boring as it sounds. Just to hopefully not let my teammates down and not let my state down."
Match: Maroons vs. Blues Game 3 - Wednesday, 17th July

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