Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Mackay Cutters’ inspirational rugby league leader Emma Manzelmann grabbed a slice of history on her debut with North Queensland Cowboys in the 2023 NRLW premiership.
Lining up for the new Cowboys franchise, the dynamic hooker nabbed the club’s first ever try during a 16-6 loss to the Gold Coast Titans in last weekend’s NRLW season opener at Cbus Super Stadium.
It took Manzelmann only six minutes to give the Cowboys an early 6-0 lead when she burst through the middle to dash over and score in an absorbing tussle with skipper Kirra Dibb adding the extras.
The talented number nine was one of five Cutters players to take the field in NRLW action along with classy utility back China Polata, centre Jasmine Peters and hard-working prop Makenzie Weale.
A sixth player – skilful five eighth Tahlulah Tillett – was ruled out of the clash with a hand injury.
Powerful Cutters’ lock Shannon Mato proved a standout for the Gold Coast side – running strongly at prop with an impressive 15 hit ups for 156 metres in a non-stop display.
Spearheaded by emerging fullback Evania Pelite, the Titans produced a gritty second half showing to claim a deserved first up victory over the Cowboys.
The dashing Pelite ran for 248 metres, made 15 tackle breaks, scored a vital second half try and pulled off a try saving tackle on Cowboys forward Shania Power in a rollicking best on ground performance.
Gold Coast winger Mino-Sinapati responded with a try on debut after a Stephanie Hancock offload as the Cowboys led 6-4 at the half time interval.
Despite the loss of Queensland Origin five eighth Fuimaono with a suspected ankle injury, the Titans rose to the challenge with back rower Zara Canfield sealing victory for the home side with a late try under the posts.