MACKAY CUTTERS 12 (Jordan Pereira 2 tries; Liam Taylor 2 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 10 (Luke George, Jason Roos tries; Javid Bowen goal) at Barlow Park.
In a battle of two of the feeder teams for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, the Mackay Cutters prevailed away from home with a gritty 12-10 win over the Northern Pride at Barlow Park in Cairns.
The Cutters were represented in the round 12 clash by Cowboys squad members Josh Chudleigh and Rory Kostjasyn, who normally both play hooker.
Kostjasyn, though, played the entire 80 minutes out of his regular position at five-eighth and played a key role in guiding his side to victory, which wasn’t secured until Jordan Pereira crossed for the match-tying try with two minutes on the clock.
Liam Taylor slotted a conversion from out wide to give the Cutters a valued away win, which consolidated their place at fifth (7 wins, 4 losses) on the ladder heading into Friday’s match against the high-flying Townsville Blackhawks in Mackay.
For the Pride, the Cutters’ late rally denied them a win in front of their home fans, with Cowboys players Hezron Murgha (fullback), Javid Bowen (centre), Cameron King (hooker), Ben Spina (prop) and Patrick Kaufusi (prop) all taking the field.
The Pride sit on eighth place on the ladder with a 5-win, 6-loss record.
Cutters coach Kim Williams said it was a scrappy affair but a vital win, given his side had come off two losses.
"It was a very important win for us," Williams told the Daily Mercury.
"It keeps us in the top five and we'll gain some confidence going into the (Townsville) Blackhawks."
The Blackhawks had the bye on the weekend, and will be heading into Friday’s game at Stadium Mackay against the Cutters coming off the back of a last-start loss to the PNG Hunters, just their second of the season.
The Pride host the Tweed Heads Seagulls on Saturday.