The Illawarra Cutters were defeated 28-8 by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Oval on Saturday.
Play commenced with both teams testing out each other’s defence, but it was the Cutters who cracked first in the thirteenth minute when the Bulldogs scored a try out wide after the Cutters outside backs failed to number up on their Canterbury opponents.
No goal kicks were taken on the night.
The Bulldogs increased their lead to 8-0 after 25 minutes when a clever inside pass led to a Cutters missed tackle, resulting in a second try scored wide out.
The Bulldogs scored three further first half tries, in the 28th, 37th and 39th minutes to take a convincing 20-0 lead into the half time break.
Some well founded words at half time from Cutters Coach Scott Logan to his chargers led to a mini revival when, immediately after the break a telling run and well timed pass by Cutters centre Junior Vaival led to a try in the corner to flying winger Nathan Smith.
The gap in the scoreline was further reduced in the 55th minute of the second half when Cutters five eighth Kris Keating threw a clever cutout pass to new Dragons signing Justin Hunt, who crossed the Canterbury line, again wide out.
However this 8-20 scoreline was as close as the Cutters got to the Dogs, and two further tries in the 64th and 70th minutes of the second half saw the final scoreline read Canterbury Bulldogs 28 defeated Illawarra Cutters 8.
Cutters Head Coach Scott Logan, though disappointed with several aspects of his team’s play, was philosophical when interviewed at match end.
“We haven’t played much together as a team to date, and many of our combinations were poor," said Logan.
"We’ll get better over time, and we’ll need to in a hurry.
"It’s the first time many of the Cutters contracted players have played with the Dragons boys, so again we’ll improve in time.
"There were some good signs at times tonight, but generally our execution was poor.
"We’ve got just one more chance to fix it, in our final trial v Norths next weekend, before our tough first round game v Mounties."
The Illawarra Cutters take on the North Sydney Bears at TG Milner Field, Marsfield on Saturday (3.00pm).