The Illawarra Cutters defeated Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 34-22 at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday.
The Cutters were made to work for the victory with the Bulldogs pressuring the home side for the full 80 minutes.
Canterbury-Bankstown were first to score in the fifth minute under the posts.
The conversion from Patrick Templeman gave the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead.
After 16 minutes, the Bulldogs were able to cross again through another close range effort.
It was another easy effort for their goal kicker as the away side raced out to a 12-0 lead.
The two tries, however, motivated the Cutters and in the 22nd minute, dummy-half Shane Pumipi darted over.
The conversion from Michael Witt narrowed the gap to six points.
Just prior to half-time, the Cutters found the try line again.
Five-eighth Kyle Eather scored and with Michael Witt’s conversion tied the game going into half-time.
Five minutes after the break, the Cutters broke the deadlock through international centre Peter Mata’utia.
In the 54th minute, prop Rory O’Brien crashed over from short range to extend Illawarra’s lead.
Michael Witt converted to give the home side a 22-12 lead.
Only three minutes later the Cutters were in again through Michael Witt after some nice lead up play from Adam Quinlan and Craig Garvey.
Witt was able to convert his own try as Illawarra moved out to a comfortable lead.
Two tries in the space of two minutes from the Bulldogs lead to a nervy finish until a late try from Kiti Glymin sealed the victory for the Cutters.
Illawarra Cutters 34 defeated the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22.
Illawarra Cutters 34. Tries: Mata’utia, Eather, Glymin, Pumipi, O’Brien, Witt. Goals: Witt (5/6).
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22. Tries: Brennan, Perrett, Cook, Templeman. Goals: Templeman (3/4).