A CRUCIAL win over the Burleigh Bears has come at a cost for the Skills Training Mackay Cutters.
Cowboy Tyson Martin's season could be over after he was carried from the field with a knee injury about 10 minutes before full-time on Saturday.
Cutters coach Anthony Seibold said Martin would undergo scans tomorrow but the initial diagnosis didn't look good.
For the Mackay team, the impact of Martin's injury is compounded by the fact it follows four other season-ending injuries, all to prominent players.
Already on the sidelines are forwards Rohan Ahern and Dean Webster and centres Michael Comerford and Chad Grintell.
"We do have good depth but it's going to be tough if we have five starting players missing," Seibold said.
Despite his injury, Martin was still named Mackay's players' player in the Intrust Super Cup clash at the Gold Coast.
Seibold said if the scans confirmed the injury was season-ending, it would be "shattering" for the young Proserpine player, whose NRL debut seemed imminent after he was named 18th man for the Cowboys only a few weeks ago.
Niggling injuries made it hard for Martin to find consistency last season and his main goal this year was to stay fit.
Seibold admitted Martin's predicament gave the Cutters' win a bit of a hollow feeling.
He said it was a quality game of football and a real arm-wrestle, with Mackay and Burleigh, with one win
each before the match, both determined to put in a strong performance.
The scores were locked at 6-all at half-time and with 10 minutes remaining the Cutters held a narrow 14-12 lead.
But a couple of decisive tries in those final minutes secured Mackay's second win of the season.
The most pleasing aspect for Seibold was that the team didn't drop its intensity at the end of the game, which it had done in the loss to Tweed Heads the week before.
"We made some big strides forward," he said.
He thought the regular top performers like Martin, Grant Rovelli and Neil Budworth were crucial again to the winning result.
The Cutters were missing Michael Morgan, who failed a fitness test. Lee Williams took his place in the centres.
Seibold said Saturday's win would give the team a mental lift as it headed into a week off with the bye.
"I just think it gives us a bit of a confidence boost," he said.
Seibold said some players would use the week off to rest, while others were likely to get some more game time under their belts with a run in the Skills Training Cup.
Intrust Super Cup results:
Mackay Cutters 26 (Lee Williams, Grant Rovelli, Matt Minto, Jardine Bobongie, Tyson Martin tries; Matt Minto 3 goals) d Burleigh Bears 12 (Todd Seymour, Louis Fanene tries; Aidan Sezer 2 goals).
CQ Capras 28 d Northern Pride 18
Norths 42 d Sunshine Coast 12
Redcliffe 70 d Souths Logan 18
Wynnum Manly 24 d Easts 20
Tweed Heads 28 d Ipswich 14
Ladder: Wynnum Manly 10, Redcliffe 8, Easts 8, Tweed Heads 7, Pride 4, Mackay 4, Sunshine Coast 4, Souths Logan 4, Central 4, Norths 3, Jets 2, Burleigh 2.
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