Game:      QCCS Mackay Cutters V Northern Pride

Round:            Trial 1 – 2018        

Venue:             AWAY – Townsville Sports Reserve

Date:               Sat 10th February, 2018

Kick off:           4.00pm Mal Meninga Cup U18’s

                        5.30pm Hastings Deering COLTS U20’s

                        7.00pm INTRUST SUPER CUP






A clear pathway for the 2018 McDonald’s Cutters Academy

5TH February 2018 

A clear pathway for the 2018 McDonald’s Cutters Academy

THE QCCS Mackay Cutters are delighted to announce their 2018 McDonald’s Cutters Academy squad.
History tells us that Mackay is a breeding ground for great rugby league talent and too often this talent is lost to North/South Queensland and Interstate. With the creation of a sustainable Junior Development Program the Mackay Cutters can work closely with local junior players in clubs and schools to ensure players, coaches and teachers remain up to date with modern coaching practice.
The McDonald’s Mackay Cutters Academy allows young footballers the opportunity to stay in Mackay and continue their rugby league education. As junior players progress through the age group ranks Mackay Cutters staff work closely with junior clubs to ensure talent is identified.
Mackay Cutters CEO, Troy Rovelli said it was extremely important that our young talent start their career paths away from the footy field.
“Once they finish school, whether they are looking for an apprenticeship, traineeship or further study there’s no better place than right here in Mackay to combine that with footy and the support of their families and friends where they live,” he said.

“It’s extremely important that everyone understands that our young talent do not have to leave the support of their families and community at such an early age now that the pathway is here in their own back yard. “I am more than confident in the coaching staff and the program that the Cutters are running will match any system in the rugby league pathway market place.”

Under the direction of Mackay Cutters’ head coach Steve Sheppard and academy coordinator Scott Thorburn, the Mackay Cutters provide opportunities for both male and female players 12 to 18 years old. Coaches work intensively with squads of high performing juniors from the local area. This includes rigorous fitness testing, on field skill development and strength and conditioning. During the pre-season all junior players get the chance to train and interact with the Intrust Super Cup squad and coaching staff at the Mackay Cutters.
The Under 16 squads get the opportunity to test themselves in the highest standard of competition in the state. The Under 13-16 teams team prepare for the NQ Championships in the hope of earning representative honours.

The abolition of the NYC competition in 2017 came about mainly because of the welfare and the stress of transitioning to living away from home of our young athletes. This has allowed the Mackay Cutters to establish a true and genuine pathway to the NRL from the grassroots at a local level.

“We are very committed to our partnership with the Cowboys, but it would be unrealistic to think that all of our home-grown talent will follow the road to Townsville, now there is no reason why they can’t stay home, develop from the Academies to Mackay Cutters U18, U20 then ISC and then onto another NRL Club if they are good enough,” Rovelli said. “NRL clubs can now only sign 30 fulltime top squad players with an additional 6 Rookie contracts so the shot gun theory applied by some NRL clubs in the past is hopefully gone.”


For a full list of ALL successful Academy squad members please visit:

It’s on again, the third annual Men of League All Stars battle!

7TH February 2018

It’s on again, the third annual Men of League All Stars battle!

IN THE third annual event, the QCCS Mackay Cutters will take on the Men of League (MOL) All Stars next week.  Both teams will battle it out on the field for the Greg Sutherland Shield named in honour of the late Mackay rugby league administrator, former Chairman of the Mackay & District Rugby League, Mackay Cutters and Men of League (Mackay).  Both teams are currently sitting at one win a piece.  The match will take place on Friday 16th February at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.

Former Australian professional rugby league footballer and foundation player for the North Queensland Cowboys Craig Menkins will guide the All Stars.  Menkins will also coach the Foley shield side for the NQ championships which are being held in Townsville on the May Day long weekend this year.

Following a grueling preseason, Cutters head coach Steve Sheppard and new head of performance Alex Kertesz are keen to test their troops out against MDRL’s finest in what will be the Cutters second hit-out of the Intrust Super Cup Preseason 2018.   All three Cutters’ teams take on the Northern Pride in Townsville this weekend for Trial 1.

“We have a strong continuance of players this season with only six new players and 19 resigns.  Jayden Batchelor, Jarod Maguire and Kellen Jenner have come through our U18’s and U20’s pathway and will play in the ISC team this year. Rejoining us is Ryan Kinlyside and former Cutters captain Tyson Martin.   The team will also be wearing our new look Cutters jersey.

“This game will be a great opportunity for our development squad players to gain experience at a higher level.  The boys have been through a very intense preseason this year with the additional expertise of our new head of performance Alex Kertesz.  They are all in great shape and have been training hard, but it is still an unknown for game day, so this will a good insight into how they handle a game situation.” Sheppard said.

The MOL All Stars will commence training this Friday 9th February from 6.00pm at BB Print Stadium.

Main game kick-off is scheduled for 7.30pm next Friday.   Get to the game early to support the QCCS Mackay Cutters U18’s side as they go head-to-head with the U20’s Indigenous All Stars coached by Mackay Cutters vice-captain Jayden Hodges in the curtain raiser.

This is set to be a fantastic trial run for the Mackay Cutters’ elite teams before they begin their Intrust Super Cup campaign on March 10.  

Gates open at 4.30pm Friday 16th February.  Entry is $5 15 years and above, U15 FREE (no concessions) and proceeds from the event go towards the Men of League Foundation supporting those involved in the game at all levels.  

Below is the 23-man squad for the All-stars V Cutters 2018 listed in no specific order

  1. Phil Derksen (Wests)
  2. Zac Wilson (Brothers)
  3. Tom Quinn (Brothers)
  4. Byron Taylor (Proserpine)
  5. Jaewon Yasserie (magpies)
  6. Hau Uhatafe (Moranbah)
  7. Mitch Lane (Sarina)
  8. Danny Misa (Sarina)
  9. Luke Vaccaneo (souths)
  10. Damon Koolstra (Wests)
  11. Eli Bleakly (Moranbah)
  12. Tim Bennett (Proserpine)
  13. Cody Buckley (Norths)
  14. Troy Wade (magpies)
  15. Clayton Kilpatrick (Moranbah)
  16. Scott Lee (Sarina)
  17. Stevie Brown (Wests)
  18. Luke Ash (souths)
  19. Cruz Robinson (souths)
  20. Adam Curtis (Proserpine)
  21. Calum Scott (Wests)
  22. Dylan Patterson (Moranbah)
  23. Brendan Barnard (brothers)


Mackay Cutters announce 2018 leadership team

1 February 2018

Mackay Cutters announce 2018 leadership team

Nearing the end of one of the most intense pre-seasons and with only five weeks to go before round one kick off, the Mackay Cutters are delighted to announce their leadership line up for 2018.

Tom Murphy will Captain the Cutters alongside his deputies Jayden Hodges and Jack Joass.

Head coach Steve Sheppard made the announcement to the team before their player performance workshop on Tuesday evening.



QCCS Leads the Mackay Cutters into the Future

Mackay Cutters’ principal partnership with local contracting company QCCS will surge ahead into the future following the signing of a renewed agreement.

The region’s QRL team became the QCCS Mackay Cutters at the start of the 2017 season, and that proud association will continue after a new multi-year partnership was struck. This will extend QCCS’s commitment to the end of the 2019 season.

Mackay Cutters CEO Troy Rovelli was on hand at the clubs 10 Year Anniversary luncheon to announce the renewed partnership.

“For us to be successful on the field, we need strong support off the field, and at the Cutters we’re blessed to have committed partners like QCCS.” Rovelli said.

QCCS general manager Craig Bogaarts said the extended partnership highlighted the shared values of the two entities, with community engagement and mental health a high priority.

“We see every day what the Mackay Cutters mean to our local rugby league town, and we’re so proud to be associated with a team so highly regarded and respected in the area in which they operate.”

“With such initiatives as Change the Game – the mental health campaign which helps promote the awareness of the Mackay Regional Suicide Prevention Network – we can leverage off each other to benefit the wider community and this renewed partnership will only strengthen that connection.”

Mr Rovelli said the longevity of QCCS’s principal sponsorship of the Cutters was a clear sign that each partner deeply values the ethos, values and community focus of the other.

“Fruitful partnerships are borne out of a win-win arrangement,” Mr Rovelli said.

“That’s certainly the case here. Each organisation is enormously proud of the partnership, and that’s because it’s a perfect fit in such a connected, committed and passionate community.

“QCCS helps us continue to run our club at a high level and to effectively reach more people with our community engagement programs.”

Mr Bogaarts said his entire organisation was very supportive of the partnership.

“The Cutters have a great culture and we look forward to them doing very well in the years to come.”

QCCS are a local Mackay company who provide precast, concrete remediation and civil construction services to the mining and infrastructure industries throughout Queensland.

Cutters too slick for Pride in Thriller

The QCCS Mackay Cutters kept their hopes of an Intrust Super Cup Finals campaign alive with an entertaining 26-18 victory over the Northern Pride at Barlow Park in Cairns.

Despite much of the game being played in a tropical rainstorm, both teams opted to play fast and expansive football, with the Cutters holding out the resurgent Pride in what became a thrilling contest.

Fresh of a club-record victory, Mackay showed their intent early when Kellen Jenner turned defence into attack, fielding an attacking kick in his own in goal and racing 50m before being dragged down.

The play eventually resulted in a repeat set and the Cutters took the opportunity to get on the board first, with Yamba Bowie showing his stunning athleticism to squeeze in the corner after latching onto a brilliant cut-out pass from Nicho Hynes.

The visitors doubled their lead a short time later as Nick Brown got an offload out the back to his support runner in Cooper Bambling. The halfback slipped then through the Pride defence and under the posts.

Ball handling was at a premium midway through the half as the rain intensified, and the Pride were forced to rue a missed opportunity to respond as they dropped the ball cold deep in Mackay territory.

The visitors showed the hosts how it was done on the ensuing set, with beautiful ball movement seeing Jack Joass send Bowie away for his second try with a slick in-out ball; the winger evading the Pride defenders in a 40m dash to the line.

The Pride were finally able hit back in the shadows of halftime, with Nathan Wales grounding a perfectly weighted grubber kick to start the hosts’ resurgence as they headed for the sheds trailing 18-4.

Buoyed by a passionate home crowd who had braved the conditions, the Pride burst out of the blocks in the second half determined to get back into the contest.

Kienan Grogan-Hayes got the Pride rolling with a freakish try, regathering a ricocheted grubber kick out on the wing and planting the ball down millimetre-perfect in the corner.

The Cutters edged themselves ahead with a penalty goal to extend the lead to 10, but Graham Clark brought the Pride back into the contest once more as he powered his way under the posts.

Mackay had proven the better team at handling the greasy conditions, but they were eventually caught out when Jack Joass lost the ball in a solid tackle in his own in-goal for Shawn Bowen to plant the ball down for a try on debut, bringing the Pride to within two points of the lead.

But once again, the conditions got the better of the home side, with the Pride spilling the ball with one-minute remaining.

Aaron Booth then struck one last blow, scoring with a trick play from the resulting scrum as the crafty hooker sliced up the middle of the park and under the posts to remain unbeaten in their past four games.


By John Bartley