Mackay Cut­ters

RLW pre­dic­tion: Bot­tom third

Rugby League Week - - Intrust Super Cup -

2016 fin­ish: Wooden spoon

Coach Stephen Shep­perd: Last year he coached the Cow­boys’ Holden Cup side to the semis. Now Shep­perd, a North Queens­land lo­cal, has a huge job in front of him — but he’s op­ti­mistic, stat­ing at the time of his hir­ing: “I can see a healthy back­bone in the club.” They’ve since added to that back­bone with some qual­ity sign­ings who should make an im­me­di­ate dif­fer­ence. “We can’t go any­where else but up, but to do that it is im­por­tant we im­prove in the lit­tle things rather than look at the big picture. We’ve had a big turnover but we’ve tried to re­cruit peo­ple who have been in NYC and NRL sys­tems with a re­ally good work ethic. I thought that was some­thing they might have lacked here in the last cou­ple of years. There are a few boys here who are un­tapped and I hope they can show their wares.”

Player to watch: “I was with the Cow­boys 20s for a few years and I’ve had my eye on [former Manly 20s star] Ni­cho Hynes for a while. He’s a big­ger, taller five-eighth with a lovely pass and kick, and he’s a re­ally good com­mu­ni­ca­tor. There’s a bit of DCE about him. If he fills out and does all the right things, he’s got a big fu­ture in the game.”

KEY GAINS: Jack Joass (Souths Lo­gan), Se­taimata Sa (Widnes Vik­ings), Cooper Bam­bling (North Queens­land Cow­boys), Ni­cho Hynes (Manly Sea Ea­gles)

KEY LOSSES: Steve Rapira (Wests Mackay), Liam Tay­lor (Wests Mackay), Jack Cre­ith (Easts Tigers), Ryan Kinly­side (Souths Mackay)

KICK­ING ON Ni­cho Hynes comes from Manly with some big raps.

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