SUPER SIX: Talking points out of Round 2 in AFL Mackay
North Mackay took the show on the road.
The Saints produced a simply blistering display on their way to a resounding 22.14 (146) to 4.1 (25) defeat of Moranbah at Stevenson Sports Park.
Something that would have heartened the North Mackay brains trust was the fact the Saints had 14 individual goalkickers.
Sam Dunbar headlined the list with five majors, taking his tally to seven in the first fortnight of the new season.
WA recruit Luke Slater earned the nod as best on ground.
Slater has joined the Saints from the Collie Eagles and wasted little time adding a touch of class to the line-up.
Bakers Creek retained top spot after an emphatic 156-point away win against an undermanned Whitsunday Sea Eagles.
The Tigers burst out of the blocks with an eight-goal first term and never looked back on the way to the 26.12 (168) to 2.0 (12) victory.
We'll talk more about Jordan Cullen later, but he had a wow of a game booting 10 goals in a best-on-ground performance.
The success lifts Bakers Creek's percentage to a remarkable 921.88.
Now the Sea Eagles are unrecognisable to the side that won the premiership in September, but you can only beat who is in front of you.
What a difference seven months makes?
Despite some encouraging signs in the opening one, Whitsunday Sea Eagles endured a tough day on Saturday.
Getting dusted by 156 points on home soil is far from ideal, but even more worrying was the lack of available numbers for the Sea Eagles.
A look at their team-sheet shows just 17 players, making what is already a difficult challenge for new coach Ian Hodges a whole lot harder than Algebra.
You learn more about footy clubs during the tough times than the good ones, so I'll be watching Whitsunday closely as the 2019 season progresses.
A trip to Harrup Park to face Mackay City awaits.
Our spies have taken just a fortnight to be proven 100 per cent right about Jordan Cullen.
The mail we received was that Cullen would be one of the recruits of the year and after a good debut for Bakers Creek, went even better for the Tigers second-up.
He booted 10 goals in a best-on-ground display as Bakers Creek came away from Airlie Beach with the four points and bucketful of percentage.
Cullen's double-figure haul is the first since Regan Williams of Whitsunday booted 11 goals against Mackay Magpies on June 30 last year.
BIG WEEKEND FOR THE SWANS
Eastern Swans are on the board for season 2019, but their eight-goal win against the Mackay Magpies was not the major talking point at the club at the weekend.
The Swans struck paydirt after their decision to field a cricket team in the Mackay Cricket Association culminated in a fourth grade premiership on Saturday.
Pinnacle was skittled for just 52 at McLennan Park, a modest target that the Swans overhauled for the loss of one wicket.
Back to the footy and the Swans, who will get some handy players back now cricket commitments are over, did enough to down the Magpies 12.18 (90) to 6.6 (42) at Rogers Oval.
Mark down Lachlan Clarke as an emerging player with genuine promise, while Chris Burdon booted four goals in an impressive display.
WELCOME BACK BULLDOGS
DESPITE ending up on the receiving end of a 100-plus point loss, the return of the Moranbah Bulldogs to senior action is important for the AFL Mackay competition.
Saturday's match against North Mackay was the first for the Doggies at senior level in 950 days.
Daniel Pullan, who played 11 senior games for Whitsunday Sea Eagles in 2018, talented teenager Callum Johnstone and SA recruit Jake Tollenaar battled hard in a losing cause.
The transient nature of football in this region does see clubs like Moranbah and Whitsunday rise and fall depending on the talent of workers lured to their respective regions.
But they are both vital to the vibrancy of the AFL Mackay competition because a seven-team league is far better than one with six or five.
The Bulldogs are at home again this weekend, hosting Eastern Swans.
ROUND 3 MATCHES
Mackay City Hawks v Whitsunday Sea Eagles at Harrup Park
Mackay Magpies v North Mackay Saints at Magpies Sporting Club
Moranbah Bulldogs v Eastern Swans at Stevenson Sports Park
Jordan Cullen (Bakers Creek) 13
Bayden Matheson (Bakers Creek) 8
John Vagg (Bakers Creek) 7
Sam Dunbar (Bakers Creek) 7
Jayden Clark (Whitsunday Sea Eagles) 5
ABOUT THE WRITER
REGIONAL editor Gregor Mactaggart boasts more than 15 years in the media industry, highlighted by spells as sports editor of the Shepparton News, senior sports reporter at the NT News, senior sports reporter at Sportal and editor of The Guardian in Swan Hill before moving to the Whitsundays in June 2018.
He played senior football in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
His association with AFL Mackay began nearly two decades ago when he spent a season with Eastern Swans and coached the club's Under-15 team to premiership success.
Winner of the 2006 Gladstone Mudcrabs senior best and fairest, he also won two players' player awards at the Glenmore Bulls and was vice-captain of the Rockhampton District representative team.