QCCS Mackay Cutters' Aaron Booth and captain Tom Murphy will don pink jerseys for the Women in League round match against the Sunshine Coast Falcons at BB Print Stadium, Saturday night.
QCCS Mackay Cutters' Aaron Booth and captain Tom Murphy will don pink jerseys for the Women in League round match against the Sunshine Coast Falcons at BB Print Stadium, Saturday night. Tony Martin

Cutters better prepared for clash against Sunshine Coast

RUGBYE LEAGUE:The QCCS Mackay Cutters are gearing up for a tough match this weekend against their Sunny Coast rivals the Falcons.

Last time the teams met, the Cutters went down 28-18 at Sunshine Coast stadium, despite securing a four-point lead in the first half.

But if their most recent efforts are anything to go by, the Cutters could get over the line after drawing with competition front runners PNG Hunters 22-all in round 20.

Cutters coach Steve Sheppard is confident the team has improved in leaps and bounds since their last Falcons clash, but said there was still room for improvement.

"In our last game against the Hunters, while I was happy with the point, I was disappointed with the way we played that game, I thought we could have won,” Sheppard said.

"We didn't play to the standard we could have. Our edge defence wasn't up to scratch, which is disappointing because we worked on that during the week prior, so that's an area we'll be focusing on for this weekend as well.

"All we can do is prepare each week, do our best and hope the odds go our way.”

The Cutters need to win their next four games to make finals and have been amping up training in preparation.

"We had quite a heavy session on Wednesday, they did quite a bit of running and on Thursday we went out and did an oppose against Wests,” Sheppard said. "Ball control seems to be a bit of a problem in the second half of the last few games so we did work a fair bit on that on (Monday) too.”

This weekend's team comes with a few changes, with Leonati Fetuani facing a three-week suspension for a shoulder charge and Blake Atherton coming in off the bench.

"Leonati being suspended will have a pretty big impact. He's a huge body and eats up the metres, a real presence on the field, so we'll miss him for sure but it will also give someone else an opportunity,” Sheppard said.

"We went with Blake this week as he gives us a bit of experience, he's been playing a bit for Wests and doing really well there. He's a right centre and we will likely move Bennett to the edge.”

This weekend's game is also part of the Women in League round, celebrating mums, partners and all the leading ladies that make Rugby League happen.

"We'd be nowhere without them, they play a huge role in rugby and it's a great weekend to honour them,” the Cutters coach said.

"For this weekend's game the players will be wearing special 'Women in League pink jersey's and all ladies get into the game for free.”

After the Falcons the Cutters face two away games against Burleigh Bears and Ipswich Jets, followed by a home game against Souths Logan Magpies.

The team:

1. Jack Joass

2. Yamba Bowie

3. Bennett Leslie

4. Nathan Saumalu

5. Johnny Faletagoa'i

6. Setaimata Sa'

7. Cooper Bambling

8. Braden Uele

9. Aaron Booth

10. Nick Brown

11. Andrew Davey

12. Shane Wright

13. Tom Murphy (c)

Interchange

14. Lona Kaifoto

15. Blake Atherton

16. Kouma Samson

17. Isaac Richardson

18. Jack Blagbrough

19. Daniel Boyd



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