The Mackay Cutters won’t give up their Intrust Super Cup title without a fight.
After a last-gasp win against Wynnum-Manly in round 15, the Cutters made it back-to-back victories by downing second-placed PNG Hunters 20-4 at Stadium Mackay on Saturday night to close the gap to the top five to six points.
Mackay led 10-0 at half time thanks to tries from captain Liam Taylor and Mitch Day and then added another two tries in the second half – a second for Taylor out wide and a dummy-half effort from Anthony Mitchell with four minutes left.
"It was one of the best defensive efforts I've seen in my time here,” Cutters coach Kim Williams said.
“Most teams play the Hunters and expect to come out second best in the physical side of it, but I think we muscled up and dominated them very strongly.”
Meanwhile, Toyota Cowboy Robert Lui won the XXXX man of the match award as the Northern Pride extended their lead on the Intrust Super Cup ladder with a 44-20 defeat of Easts in Brisbane on Sunday.
Back from NRL duties with North Queensland, Lui was particularly influential in the first half, including scoring a solo try from dummy-half that put the first points on the board.
The Pride were 44-0 up with 20 minutes of play still remaining, but switched off to allow the Tigers to score the final four tries of the match – all from kicks – with winger Jarrod McInally picking up a hat-trick.
Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt scored a runaway 60-metre try, off a Lui pass, early in the second half and also set up Davin Crampton’s second when he climbed highest to take a cross kick and then offloaded for his centre to stroll in untouched.
The Pride now have a four-point ladder lead over Tweed Seagulls with a game in hand.
MACKAY CUTTERS 20 (Liam Taylor 2, Anthony Mitchell, Mitch Day tries; Liam Taylor 2 goals) def PNG HUNTERS 4 (George Benson try) at Stadium Mackay.
NORTHERN PRIDE 44 (Blake Leary 2, Davin Crampton 2, Kyle Feldt, Brett Anderson, Robert Lui, Jack Svendsen tries; Shaun Nona 6 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 20 (Jarrod McInally 3, Donald Malone tries; Donald Malone 2 goals) at Langlands Park.