By Jake Bull and Trent Thomas
The Illawarra Cutters head on the road to face the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, Leichhardt on Saturday.
After comprehensively defeating the Mt Pritchard Mounties on the weekend, the Cutters will be looking to build on the win and continue their impressive season.
The Tigers however left it late against the New Zealand Warriors and they know a win against Illawarra will push them above them on the ladder with few rounds remaining.
Head Coach Scott Logan admitted he challenged his team to respond well after a poor effort on the field in recent weeks where poor ball control caused their downfall.
Logan though concedes that everyone is entitled to a blip and that the recent form slump prior to last round’s win came at a good time for his side with finals football on the horizon.
“I challenged the boys to respond after what has happened in recent weeks where a large portion of the match we haven’t controlled the ball and had a lot of incomplete sets,” said Logan.
“The challenge against Mounties was to play some good football on the back of some good go forward and using intelligence.
“Without giving to much away we had a bit of a plan of who we wanted to get to.
“I think everyone is entitled to that blip at some point and it came at a good time a couple weeks out of the finals.
“We’re not thinking too far ahead and are just making sure we improve week to week.”
Logan has named a team brimming with talent including Nathan Smith, who netted his second hat-trick of the season last week.
Also included are lock Shannon Wakeman and hooker Shane Pumipi.
Wests have adopted a youth policy with many of their team coming through the ranks of the National Youth Competition.
Of those included are Joel Luani, Brenden Santi and Nathan Brown.
This game is vital for both sides and a potential precursor to a finals game in a few weeks’ time.