Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Mackay Cutters’ early season woes continued in the QRL Hostplus Cup after a disappointing 38-26 loss to the top-of-the-table Central Queensland Capras at BB Print Stadium last Saturday night.
It was a fourth successive defeat for Michael Comerford’s gallant Cutters who have struggled to produce their best form in the opening month of the competition.
The Cutters opened the scoring after eight minutes with a smart try by centre Flynn Camilleri.
Three quick tries by Capras winger Brandon Roberts, lock Aaron Teroi and the crafty Kurt Donoghoe gave the visitors a handy 18-6 lead before the Cutters rallied with a four pointer by winger Jake Riley and a second try for the quick-stepping Camilleri off a pinpoint Cook kick.
Experienced NRL winger Edrick Lee dashed over for the Capras fourth try of the match soon after to give his side a 24-16 lead at the interval.
In an absorbing second stanza, the Capras staved off a determined Cutters challenge – extending their lead with tries by Samuel Yegip and Donoghoe after winger Logan Dillon and utility forward Sean Mullany had kept the home side in the hunt with crucial four pointers.
The Cutters suffered a huge blow in the lead up to the clash after key playmaker Brandon Finnegan was ruled out indefinitely with a fractured knee.
His replacement Bayley Gill combined well with Cook and the elusive Camilleri with prop Hiale Roycroft and back rower Asher O’Donnell working tirelessly in the forwards.
There was better news for the Cutters in the BMD Premiership when the women posted a hard-fought 24-16 triumph over the Capras.
Dynamic fullback China Polata was the best on ground with her power running a feature as the Cutters registered their third win of the season.
Other Mackay players to impress were lock Shannon Mato, centre Libby Surha, prop Essay Banu, second rower Mackenzie Weale, hooker Emma Manzelmann and five eighth Alisha Foord.
The Cutters sealed second spot in the Harvey Norman Under 19s Womens series after toppling the Capras 24-8 while Mackay bowed out of the Under 16 Cyril Connell Challenge and Under 18 Mal Meninga Cup despite recording emphatic victories over the Capras.
The Under 16s chalked up a 28-6 win and the Under 18s a thumping 46-16 triumph in the Mal Meninga Cup.
Photo credit: Marty Strecker Photography