The Illawarra Cutters travel to challenge the North Sydney Bears at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.
After failing to capitalise on an early lead against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and leaving with only one competition point, the Cutters will be out with a point to prove this weekend.
Cutters Head Coach Scott Logan admits his team were fortunate to leave last weekend with one competition pint frustrated by the lack of fifth-play options but praised his team’s attitude to rise up the opposition to carve something out of the game.
“We were lucky to get the one point, it was probably a game we deserved to lose and it goes to show if you jump out to 18-nil you can still lose if you give them plenty of ball and good field position,” said Logan.
“I don't think we had good fifth play options and didn’t build a lot of pressure which was paired with some errors and uncompleted sets.
“It’s no excuse but we also had some early injuries to experienced players and in the end we were down to one on the bench.
“However, everyone fought on to gain the point which is better than nothing.”
The Bears are coming off a heavy loss to the Wests Tigers and will be aiming to put in an improved performance against their higher up opponents.
For the Cutters, experienced first-grade players Dylan Farrell, Nathan Green and Kyle Stanley have been named, giving Illawarra some strike-power to call upon against the Bears.
North Sydney themselves are filled with players who have experience at this level of the game, including dummy-half Matt Hyland who has been a mainstay in the Bear’s system for many years.
While the Cutters are sitting in a comfortable position in the top eight and the Bears bringing up the foot of the ladder, both teams have plenty to play for.
The Cutters are trying to keep in touch with the top three teams and keep those teams at bay below them and North Sydney are trying to play their way off the bottom of the ladder.