By Jake Bull
The Illawarra Cutters snapped a three game losing streak with a 24-14 victory over the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday.
With the side showing plenty of heart, the results were not going their way but this changed with the early kick-off against one of the frontrunners in the competition.
The Cutters started the game strongly and in the seventh minute found the try-line.
A set close to the line ended with Shannon Wakeman crashing over next to the posts.
Tyrone Cranston added the extras for an early 6-0 lead.
The Cutters scored again to extend their lead in the 18th minute.
From the set after a 40/20, a pass found the ground out wide but Kiti Glymin picked it up and continued his recent good run of try scoring form for a 10-0 lead.
The Tigers were beginning to play themselves into the game and in the 26th minute, a shift to the right found winger Kurtis Rowe who stayed in field to score and reduce the scoreline to 10-4.
On the stroke of half-time, the Cutters got their third try of the contest.
An offload close to the line allowed Kris Keating to burrow his way over adjacent to the posts.
Shannon Crook took over the kicking duties and gave the visitors a 16-4 lead at half-time.
With both sides testing each other down the middle, it took 20 minutes into the second half for the first points to be scored.
A penalty against the Tigers close to the line meant Crook had the easy chance to extend the lead to 18-4.
Four minutes later the Tigers hit back. A grubber from Josh Drinkwater made its way into the in-goal where an on-rushing Tim Moltzen touched down to score and bring the game to 18-8.
Another penalty goal for trouble in the ruck against the Tigers in the 68th minute meant the visitors took the two as Shannon Crook pushed the lead out to 20-8.
With eight minutes to play, the Cutters sealed the win when a grubber from Crook was collected by Charly Runciman who scored his first of the game and give the Cutters a 24-8 lead.
A late consolation try to Matthew Lodge and the Tigers, along with a conversion from Drinkwater meant the final score was a 24-14 victory to the Cutters.
Illawarra Cutters 24. Tries: Wakeman, Glymin, Keating, Runciman. Goals: Cranston (1/2), Crook (3/4).
Wests Tigers 14. Tries: Rowe, Moltzen, Lodge. Goals: Drinkwater (1/3).