Year: 2014

Footy Fever

In what is another win for local footy fans, Stadium Mackay will host the Absolute Enterprises Mackay Cutters and the St George Illawarra Dragons in a pre-season trial match on Saturday the 31st of January 2015. The opportunity presented to the Cutters players is one not lost on the organisation as they prepare to test themselves in the pre-season against the historic NRL outfit. The Dragons intend to utilise the fixture as an opportunity to refine their preparations towards the annual pre-season Charity Shield match scheduled the following weekend at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. Further details around scheduling, pre-game events and ticketing will be made available at a later date.

International class to boost squad

Two of the marquee signings for the Absolute Enterprises Mackay Cutters will arrive in town next week as the preparation for season 2015 gets into full swing.

In a major coup for the Cutters, former NQ Cowboys, NZ Warriors and Salford Reds’ forward Steve Rapira has signed with the club to continue his career which has included 57 games in the NRL and UK Super League. Rapira is a hard-working prop or back-rower who established himself at the Cowboys before heading back to his homeland of New Zealand where he had 2 seasons with the Warriors. He then joined Salford in 2014 where he played 17 games before signing with the Cutters for season 2015. Rapira has previously played a handful of games for the Cutters when he was at the Cowboys, and he is looking forward to returning to Mackay to lead a young group of players who are hungry for success.

The second major signing for the 2015 Cutters’ side is current Samoan test hooker and 2013 NZ Warriors NYC player of the year Michael Sio. An exciting young prospect who already has 5 Internationals on his CV including the 2013 World Cup, Sio will be looking to make his mark in the ISC competition and boost his chances of securing an NRL contract in the near future. He is seen as an outstanding young leader who has all the qualities to progress to the top levels of the game.

Coach Kim Williams is excited to welcome both Rapira and Sio to the Cutters for season 2015. “I couldn’t have wished for two better players to choose our club to continue their careers. Steve is an outstanding player who will add quality and experience to our young group and Michael is an up-and-coming future star who has chosen us over a host of NRL clubs who were chasing his signature. We are delighted to have them on board and we expect them to make an immediate impact within our club when they arrive next week.”

Dynamic Duo

The Absolute Enterprises Mackay Cutters are extremely pleased to announce two more key signings as they prepare for season 2015. The acquisition of former Cronulla and Dragons player Sam Clune is a huge boost for the club as they look to replace Zac Santo who filled the custodian role throughout 2014. Clune has played most of his football in the halves but he was a standout for the Thirroul Butchers at fullback during their 2014 Premiership in the Illawarra Coal League. Clune also played for NSW Country and was named the Illawarra Player of the Year in what could only be described as an outstanding season for the 22 year old. Initially hailing from Junee, Clune played SG Ball at the Sharks before being recruited by the Dragons for their NYC squad. He will now be looking to further his career with the Cutters who are excited about the impact he could have in the 2015 ISC competition.

The signing of former North Sydney prop Brad Lupi is also a boost for the Cutters as they lost two of their starting front-rowers in Karl Davies (Bradford) and Dan Beasley at the end of last season. Lupi is a giant of a man who has made an excellent first impression at the Cutters with some outstanding results in their pre-season tests. Lupi has had several seasons in the NSW Cup with Norths and will also add some experience to the Cutters’ young pack of forwards. Standing at 190cm and weighing in at 112kg, the Cutters will be looking for Lupi to be a dominant figure in their forward pack throughout season 2015.

Cutters announce local recruits

The Absolute Enterprises Mackay Cutters have announced some key signings as they commence their preparation for season 2015 of the Intrust Super Cup. There has been a strong focus on recruitment from the local Mackay District Rugby League which reinforces the strength of the local competition and the pathway that it provides into the Cutters’ system.
Buchanan Rawhiti and Zack Walker have been signed from Moranbah after starring for the Miners in their 2014 campaign. Both players are outside backs with plenty of potential who will be looking to cement a spot in a revamped Cutters’ backline. They will be joined in the Cutters squad by Matt Hackett from Sarina who was instrumental in the Crocodiles’ charge into the semi finals in 2014. Hackett is also a young player with all of the attributes needed to play in the Intrust Super Cup and can cover a number of positions including fullback and wing.
The Cutters’ forward pack will also be strengthened by the inclusion of three players from the local league. Young Zac Radel from Wests has been signed by the club after a stellar season for the 2014 Grand Finalists. Radel has progressed through the Cutters’ junior representative program and has shown that he is ready for the step up into the ISC squad. His teammates next season will include Alex Farrell and Brendan Trestan who helped guide Souths to the Mackay Premiership in 2014. Both players will add some aggression to the Cutters pack and will push strongly for starting positions in 2015.

Girls Academy Squad Named

Selections for the inaugural Mackay Cutters’ Under 16’s Girls Academy have now been completed. Congratulations to the players listed below who have been chosen to participate in this exciting new pathway for local players. This is a great achievement and a reward for your excellent performances in season 2014.

All players selected in this squad should be receiving a email within the next few days outlining the training schedule and commitments involved with the Academy Program. An initial testing and information session will be held at Stadium Mackay on Saturday January 31 from 9.30am until 1.00pm. If you are listed below but you have not received your email by Friday November 14, please contact the Cutters’ office to update your address details.
Once again, congratulations on your selection in the initial train-on squad for the Mackay Cutters’ Academy Program.
To confirm your place in this squad you MUST contact us using one of the following options BEFORE FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28.

Email to Renae Kunst (NRL Game Development):
Text to Renae Kunst: 0417068132
Phone the Mackay Cutters office (ask for Renae Kunst or Crystal Warren): 4957 7780

Name – School
Aleesha Barba – Mackay State High School
Jolie Lock – Mackay State High School
Jamie-Lee Tangye – Mackay State High School
Jacinta Kris – Mackay State High School
Kalem Masso – Pioneer State High School
Sharnee Rees – Mercy College Mackay
Shanae Best – Mercy College Mackay
Abby Catling – Mercy College Mackay
Paige Howat – Mackay State High School
Summer Russell – Mackay State High School
Leilani Ware – Mackay State High School
Kiara Dav – Mackay State High School
Monique Best – Mercy College Mackay
Grace Kelly – Mercy College Mackay
Germaine Seden – Mackay North State High School
Amy Law – Sarina State High School
Raquel Boliero – Mackay State High School
Bridie Spinks – Northern Beaches State High School
Claudia Dullahide – Moranbah State High School
Melissa Hoffmann – Moranbah State High School
Mackenzie Roberts – Moranbah State High School
Grace Rigano – Moranbah State High School
Kayleigh Price – Mirani State High School
Brittany Barron – Mirani State High School
Aimee Haylett – Sarina State High School
Gypsi Ball – Sarina State High School
Marie Hazard – Sarina State High School
Austene Rebetzke – Sarina State High School
Shania Owens – Sarina State High School
Rachael Cave – Mirani State High School
Lewellyn Langwe – Mackay State High School
Jenna-Lee Moss – Mackay State High School
Saranda Boah – Pioneer State High School
Tahlia Conway – Pioneer State High School
Shagkeirah Conway – Pioneer State High School
Jesse-Lee Carvana – Mercy College Mackay
Abbi Johnson – Mercy College Mackay
Adria Tapim – Sarina State High School
Chloe Ware – Sarina State High School
Jasmine Borg – Holy Spirit College

Cowboys and Broncos Ticket Release

A combined announcement between the Mackay and District Rugby League, Absolute Mackay Cutters and North Queensland Toyota Cowboys was made today outlining key event details for the February 7 NRL Trial Game to be hosted at Mackay Stadium.

Rugby League fans are set to flock to the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre on the 1st of December as the first release of tickets for the historic Cowboys and Broncos go on sale to the general public. It will be the first time the two sides have squared off in a game in Mackay and it is expected that the profile of both clubs in the region will attract a sell out crowd.

Key Event Details:

1st December 2014 Tickets on sale through the MECC
In person
Online via
Over the phone 4961 9777

• Reserved Grandstand Seating $40
• HILL (unlicensed) $25 or $90 for a Family Pass (2 adults, 2 kids under 12)
• Northern and Southern Outer $20 (standing room only)
Note: Transaction and credit card charges may apply.

Corporate Enquiries
Please email Crystal Warren to register your interest.

7th February 2015 Game Day
Gates Open at 3:30pm
Cutters v Cowboys NYC at 4:30pm
Cowboys v Broncos at 7:30pm
The Cowboys strong commitment to the Mackay community will be a feature of the event. Development staff will ‘blitz’ local schools in the week leading up to the game, this will be capped by all players participating in school visits on the Friday morning.

The general public will not miss a chance to get up close the their favourite Cowboy prior to Saturday night. From 4pm on Friday 6th February the Cowboys will host an open training session at Mackay Stadium.

February 7th is also the National Sign On day for Junior Rugby League. Cowboys staff and players are also expected to attend this event.

Williams extends contract

The Absolute Enterprises Mackay Cutters are pleased to announce that Head Coach Kim Williams will extend his stay in Mackay for the 2015 season.

The premiership winning coach made no secret of his desire to climb the coaching ladder but is certainly happy to continue working hard for the Cutters until that opportunity presents.

“I am excited by the new challenges that lay ahead for the Cutters. We have rebuilt the squad from last year and retained plenty of key players. If the right opportunity had presented I would have considered the challenge of stepping to the next level but it is not to be at the moment. I am more determined than ever to get the Cutters back in contention during 2015.” Williams said.

Williams has been working tirelessly during the off season to ensure the Cutters hit the ground running in 2015. This includes planning for the Intrust Super Cup program but also co-ordinating the program for the newly formed Cutters Academy and Coach Mentor programs.

Mackay Cutters CEO Glenn Ottaway praised Williams’ work ethic despite some uncertainty over his future.

“Plenty of people wanted to tell us that Kim had a job somewhere else. Internally, we knew he was committed to our club and ensuring we were well ahead of schedule in our preparation for 2015. The fact that he has not stopped working for one day despite some uncertainty shows the quality of coach and person that we have“. Ottaway said.

He added, “we are a pathway club, so when players or staff get the sniff of an opportunity at the next level we support them through the process.”

The Cutters playing squad will reform in early November and start what is sure to be a gruelling preseason. The Junior Academies will also start preparation intermittently between November and January.

Change in Cutters front office

The Absolute Enterprises Mackay Cutters will start the search for a new Chief Executive Officer today after Glenn Ottaway announced he will be accepting a new role within the Queensland Rugby League.

After serving for three years in the position Ottaway will move on to a role as the Manager of the Central Division of the Queensland Rugby League.

Cutters Chairman John Glanville indicated that the change was somewhat bittersweet.

“I think Glenn has done a terrific job in his time with the club. He picked up the job and moved the club and Rugby League as a whole in a positive direction. We are a club that prides itself on providing opportunities for our players and staff, it might be a little disappointing that he is leaving but it is great that Glenn has been given the chance to further his career in the game.” Mr Glanville said.

Ottaway himself was thankful for the opportunity given by the Cutters but was looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead.

“The grounding I have received working in the game in Mackay is one that will hold me in good stead for this new position. This is a new challenge but my family and I will always recognise Mackay as the place where a potential career in the game actually started. Guys like John Glanville and Steve Dowden gave me a chance at the Cutters a few years ago and thanks to them I now get to move forward in the game.” Ottaway said.

Ottaway was also quick to praise the staff that he has worked with.

“I think that is the strength of our organisation. We have people working here who genuinely love their job, despite the challenges. They maintain their passion for the game and our club. This includes our small number of paid employees but also our volunteers.” Ottaway commented.

He added, “people like Tony Gambie (former Team Manager) are incredible in their passion for this club. You think some time that he would be willing to die for the club. He is so passionate and is a great example of what our club is all about.”

Academy Squads Named

Selections for the inaugural Mackay Cutters’ Academy Programs for ages 13-18 have now been completed. Congratulations to the players listed below who have been chosen in their respective age groups to participate in this exciting new pathway for local players. This is a great achievement and a reward for your excellent performances in season 2014.
All players selected in these squads should be receiving a letter within the next few days outlining the training schedule and commitments involved with the Academy Program. Players selected in the Under 16s and 18s squads commence on November 8, while the younger age groups of 13s, 14s and 15s commence their program in late January 2015. If you are listed below but you have not received your letter by Tuesday September 30, please contact the Cutters’ office to update your address details.


Once again, congratulations on your selection in the initial train-on squad for the Mackay Cutters’ Academy Program.

To confirm your place in this squad you MUST contact us using one of the following options BEFORE FRIDAY OCTOBER 17.

Email to Kim Williams (Head Coach, Mackay Cutters ISC):
Text to Kim Williams: 0437 533 006
Phone the Mackay Cutters office (ask for Kim Williams or Crystal Warren): 4957 7780

NAME – Club
Mackenzie Novosel – Magpies
Kori Mooner Brayshaw – Magpies
Isaiah Lawson – Norths
Henry Vella – Wanderers
Jackson Westecott – Wests
Cameron Levitz – Souths
Josh Sturma – Proserpine
Hugh Arthur – Magpies
Jett Hinchliffe – Moranbah
Teokotai Packer – Brothers
Jayden Suner – Wanderers
Carn Connell – Magpies
Callum Stevens – Moranbah
Henri Stocks – Norths
Kane Simon – Sarina
Tate Brodel – Magpies
Jayden Rodwell – Magpies
Benjamin Whybird – Moranbah
Braydan Johns – Magpies
Dominic Mifsud – Sarina
Ryan Whalen – Sarina
Sean Baker – Wanderers
Jackson Gouge – Moranbah
Jake Kearton – Souths
Cody Carroll – Magpies
Vincent Gauci – Magpies
Josh Dearden – Brothers
Isaac Thomson – Norths
Coen Wilson – Proserpine
William Gunning – Wanderers
Toby Thorburn – Magpies
Dylan Hoffman – Proserpine
Jye Barker – Wests

NAME – Club
Alex Hindmarsh – Wests
Luke Byrne – Wests
Jack Mulherin – Wanderers
Kahlani Mooney – Wanderers
Jonty Russell – Wanderers
Joshua Kenny – Wanderers
Kyle Hussie – Souths
Cody Hilton – Souths
Brodie Little – Moranbah
Clancy Bowen – Sarina
Joshua Filosi – Sarina
Callum Street – Sarina
Jack Patoni – Sarina
Thomas Howland – Sarina
Brock Corkill – Sarina
Tom Deardon – Brothers
Rayden Burns – Brothers
Ronin Hassell – Brothers
Daniel Kelly – Brothers
Earle Faram – Brothers
James Bassett – Brothers
Matt McGown – Magpies
Declan Laird – Magpies
Stephen Mackenzie – Magpies
Luke Webley – Magpies
Zac Starr – Magpies
Phoenix Heke – Magpies
Hone Bloomer – Proserpine
Tyson Gorman – Proserpine
Cooper Dunn – Proserpine

NAME – Club
Caleb Sinn – Wanderers
Jake Jones – Wanderers
Darcy Webb-Smith – Wanderers
Ethan Walsh – Magpies
Cooper Zulkarnian – Magpies
Hayden Brownsey – Magpies
Tyler Haynes – Magpies
Michael Hazard – Magpies
Tom Irelands – Norths
Garrett Smith – Norths
Jack Anderson – Norths
Korban Lawson – Norths
Edwin Foster – Norths
Anthony Taylor – Proserpine
Jack Kearns – Proserpine
Jake Harrison – Proserpine
Ben Cornish – Proserpine
Sam Morrison – Wests
Aiden Jones – Wests
Shaun Smith – Wests
Harrison Badger – Moranbah
Rhett Wood – Moranbah
Caleb Hall – Brothers
Hayden Swain – Souths
Henry Head – Sarina
Dakota Saron-Nicol – Souths

NAME – Club
Nicholas Brownsey – Souths
Jackson Stevens – Souths
Raistlin Seage – Souths
Matthew Vessey – Souths
Will Cairns – Souths
Ryan Schill – Souths
Jaewon Yasserie – Souths
Reece Beutel – Souths
Jye Andersen – Sarina
Brett Glendinning – Sarina
Brody Wilson – Sarina
Curtis Window – Sarina
Hayden Pace – Magpies
Zachary Ivey – Magpies
James Templeton – Magpies
Lachlan Galea – Magpies
Connor Hudson – Magpies
Jovan Pienaar – Magpies
Matthew Borg – Magpies
Mason Thorpe – Magpies
Will Lansbury – Norths
Brendan White – Norths
Isaiah Tass – Norths
Connor McKenzie – Norths
Cody Langwe – Norths
Conrad Green – Brothers
Reece Thornton – Wests
Damon Carter – Wests
Grant Cordwell – Wanderers
Ayden Luhrman – Wanderers
Liam Meng – Wanderers
Benjamin Fordyce – Wanderers
Nick Williams – Wanderers
Jack Johnson – Wanderers
Aiden Beard – Brothers
Nathan Barrett – Proserpine
Matt Di Prima – Proserpine
Kai O’Donnell – Proserpine

NAME – Club
Jared Maguire – Souths
Jake Thornton – Wests
Jayden Con-Goo – Brothers
Liam Coles – Brothers
Joel Haynes – Magpies
Ashten Windsor – Souths
David Kay – Proserpine
Kellen Jenner – Brothers
Ryley Lappin – Magpies
Ethan Cunningham – West
Jye Del Simone – Brothers
Tom Edwards – Wests
Daniel Boyd – Brothers
Connor Hunt – Wests
Joshua Curti – Souths
Brock Santacaterina – Wanders
Mosese Uluiviti – Souths
Samuel Downes – Brothers
Brendan Barnard – Brothers
Thomas Yeomans – Brothers
Haven Field – Magpies
Jayden Vea Vea – Souths
Connor Geisler – Brothers
Reuben Cotter – Sarina
Alatti Tapim – Sarina
Thomas Williams – Wanderers
Jacob Schill – Souths
Eliki Taufahema – Brothers
Joshua Morton – Brothers
Luke Schulte – Wanderers
John O’Brien – Souths
Joel Hicks – Souths
Aidan Pine – Magpies
Jamaiah Hutchinson – Wests
John Mulherin – Wanderers
Jai Hewitt – Norths
Luke Campbell – Magpies
Solomon Grigg – Wanderers


NRL dream alive

Courtesy of The Daily Mercury

RUGBY LEAGUE: Anthony Mitchell was an integral part of the Mackay Cutters’ 2013 premiership success and was a shining light for them again this year.

The 25-year-old hooker is off contract at the North Queensland Cowboys at the end of the current season, and hasn’t ruled out a permanent move to the Cutters.

He’s still hoping for an NRL contract – be it in Townsville or elsewhere – but said the Cutters or new Intrust Super Cup franchise Townsville Blackhawks were his pick of the state league teams.

“I’m not too sure what I’m doing at this stage; I’m pretty much on the open market and having chats here and there with a few different teams,” Mitchell said.

“In terms of (Intrust Super Cup) team I’d firstly consider Townsville alongside the Cutters, and then I’d look at any others after that.

“Mackay just took so much care of me while I was there and I really enjoyed the club and my time there.

“Everyone’s keen on getting an NRL contract so I suppose I’ll just have to sit and wait. I’ll have no idea until the season’s over with Cowboys.”

Cutters coach Kim Williams said if Mitchell became available, he’d happily have him as a full-time Cutter.

“Glenn (Cutters chief executive Glenn Ottaway) spoke to him months ago about it and he knows our position,” Williams said.

“He’s an obvious choice for us, both as a player and a leader … so we’d definitely like to have him.”

After such a successful 2013 season, Mitchell said it was difficult to assess the Cutters’ 2014 season.

He said the loss of key veterans like former captain Jardine Bobongie was a factor in the club’s slow start to the season.

“It was a difficult one in terms of the amount of players we lost from the year before,” Mitchell said.

“We sort of struggled in a few areas, and we weren’t able to solidify our halves until later in the year when Brent Warr and Doug Hewitt put their hands up and made the spots their own.

“The finish to the year was good. Kim (Williams) really got us back to basics and got us thinking one game at a time. But there’s just going to have to be a recruitment drive for next year, I think.

“There’s no quick fix; they’ll just have to keep their eye out for who’s available.”

Mitchell has Roosters in sight

ANTHONY Mitchell believes the Cowboys can overcome defending premiers Sydney Roosters this Saturday night.

He said the whole team had been out in force this week, in preparation for one of the most anticipated games in the club’s history.

“It’s pretty good; everyone’s pretty excited and there’s a good atmosphere around the place,” Mitchell said.

“It’s not all the time you get to go through to a major preliminary final … I’m sure it’ll be same in Mackay with everyone supporting their local team.”

After the Cowboys knocked off the Brisbane Broncos with relative ease in the first week of finals, the Roosters pose a much greater threat.

The task will be even tougher with the confirmation of Tariq Sims’ suspension, but Mitchell is confident the Cowboys have what it takes to make it all the way to this year’s grand final.

“Greeny’s (coach Paul Green) a bit of a mastermind behind things like who we need to look out for and their key players,” Mitchell said.

“We’ll find out more about the Roosters in training and work out how we can beat them. I definitely think we’ve got the squad this year to go all the way.”


The Cowboys have won five of the teams’ last seven meetings, including a 42-10 win in R10 this year

Roosters have won 13 premierships while the Cowboys have made 15 appearances with an 8-7 winning record