Sport

Falcons to take on bogey team which has their ex-captain

SUNSHINE COAST PRODUCT: Tom Murphy is now with Mackay Cutters after talks broke down with the Falcons.
SUNSHINE COAST PRODUCT: Tom Murphy is now with Mackay Cutters after talks broke down with the Falcons. Madolyn Peters

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Sunshine Coast is intent on snapping a 12-game hoodoo against Mackay at Bokarina on Saturday, when ex-Falcons talisman Tom Murphy will lace-up for the visitors.

The round 11 showdown is likely to be contested on a sodden surface so a torrid battle among the forwards is expected.

While the in-form Falcons boast the likes of heavy-hitter Tui Kamikamica, the Cutters possess bustling backrower Murphy.

A Sunshine Coast product, the 25-year-old was an inspiring figure at the Falcons for more than two seasons - during which he captained the side - before leaving to play in France at the end of last year.

He's since returned to Queensland and last week played his first game for Mackay.

A return to the Falcons had been mooted but talks broke down.

Sunshine Coast coach Craig Ingebrigtsen said it was a shame they couldn't reach an agreement to get him back in yellow.

"You'd like to have him on your team instead of playing against him but these things happen," he said.

"Him and Flanno (CEO Chris Flannery) had discussions but it (a deal) didn't come to fruition so he's made a decision to go up there.

"From our end we'd love him to be here. He's a good player and good leader and he was good around our club but unfortunately for us he's not with us (now).

"But at the end of the day that's footy."

Ingebrigtsen knows what to expect from the hard-man, who played through a painful shoulder injury while at the Falcons.

"We know Tom's going to come at us really hard. He's quite compact, he runs hard and tackles hard and will give them (Cutters) a push in the middle. We know what we get with him. He plays within his parameters and that's why he's good."

Third of 14 teams, the Falcons have won eight of their past nine matches and are eager to snap a disturbing run of losses against a Cutters team which is 11th.

That the Sunshine Coast lost a string of matches to the northerners from 2011-2014 is not a shock, given they did not have the benefit of a Melbourne Storm alliance.

That they haven't won since is a surprise, particularly as the Falcons have become a force.

"They're a bogey team," Ingebrigtsen said.

"When we played up there last year we were disgraceful.

"We must be closer to a win if we've had that many losses to them."

It was set to be a topic of conversation at the team meeting on Friday night.

"So we need to maker sure we're good but I'm on high alert anyway," the coach said. "They're really well coached and are a good footy side. Their numbers in attack have been outstanding so we've got to really work hard or we're going to get beat.

He said he did not want the Cutters getting into the finals-bound top-six such because of the danger they possess.

Topics:  coast falcons sunshine


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