Carlin Anderson expects big things from the Mackay Cutters by the end of the season.
Carlin Anderson expects big things from the Mackay Cutters by the end of the season. Aidan Cureton

Anderson's pledge to the Cutters strengthened

IN THE past four-years Carlin Anderson has suited up against the Cutters six times and tallied up a total 66 points in those appearances.

While he has been slowly chipping away at returning those point to the Mackay side Anderson hit a slow this weekend against the Ipswich Jets, the same side he helped to the 2015 ISC Premiership.

A see-sawing match looked like it would end with Cutters on top when a try from both Anderson and Cutters' workhorse Yamba Bowie crossed the line within three-minutes off each other and pushed Mackay four points ahead.

Scoring the equaliser against the Jets in the second half, Anderson looked like the prophet who would break his old club, but a lapse in the Cutters' defence led to a shattering 18-point return form the Jets in the final 15 minutes.

The final score was a 34-20 win to the Jets.

The Jets may have secured the upper hand, but the loss strengthened the loyalty of Anderson in the Mackay club.

Coming out from the change room the sweeper showed no mixed emotions, he sat down and felt the same loss that the other Mackay players suffered.

"I have no doubt in this team and this squad, I'm backing us to do really great things this year,” he said.

Anderson admitted his former team managed to get under his skin and hit his weaknesses.

Jets knew what made the Cutters' custodian tick, which showed when they made a habit of bombing the ball high and setting Marmin Barba and Nathaniel Neale or two other available players on him to pressure the play.

"As soon as we finished the game the boys came up to me and said 'you know what the game plan was' and I said 'yea I know what the plan was,” Anderson said.

"Lots of dogs, get to the kick, bomb the fullback. It's simple but effective and they do it very well.”

Using his premiership winning run in 2015 as an example, Anderson said finals berth was still possible for the Cutters.

"We lost about six or seven in a row at the start of the year and we came back to win six, seven, eight in a row and ended up winning the competition,” he said.

For that to happen the fullback stressed the need for consecutive wins. A point head coach Steve Sheppard had been making since their first win in Round 3 over the Capras.

"It's just win one, lose one, we can't keep doing that,” he said.

"We need to have that fire in the belly. We can't lose one and then get that fire and go on to win the next one. We need to be able to win back-to-back-to-back.

Missing three of four conversions, Anderson said his early season spinal injury had still left a residual scar on his mentality.

"I came off a pretty serious injury and I thought I've gotten better each week,” he said.

"But one week I'm pretty good then the next week I'm average so I guess If i want to get to the next level I need to be more consent each week.

"Personally I was a bit off tonight, I know that. I have to go back this week, regroup and work on the little things again.”

With PNG Hunters and Easts Tigers on the competition's horizon Anderson said his side had plenty more opportunities to find their spot in the top-8.

"PNG aren't doing to well, and with Easts in Round 1 we didn't have a full strength team and we held pretty well tight with them,” he said.

"They're not doing too well, they just had a pretty big loss to Blackhawks last week.

"I think if we go up to PNG and come back with a good win and get that second win over Easts then we're definitely getting into that top-eight group.”