By Jake Bull
The Illawarra Cutters came away with a resounding 38-18 victory over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday.
In perfect conditions for football, the home side ran in seven tries to three to get the season going again before next week’s bye.
It only took five minutes for the first points of the game.
A shift to the right found centre Dylan Farrell who used his pace and scored in the corner.
Late inclusion, Blake Wallace, added the extras from out wide for a 6-0 lead.
Six minutes later the visitors got their first try of the game when a set close to the line ended with fullback Dom Reardon bursting through a gap to score.
Halfback Kurt Aldridge converted to tie the game at 6-all.
In the 19th minute, the Cutters found the try line when an error close to the line allowed Drew Hutchison to pick the ball up and score adjacent to the posts.
Wallace had the easy kick to push the lead out to 12-6.
All the momentum was with Illawarra as they were next to score.
Blake Wallace was having a great start to the game and got his name in the try column when he found a gap and planted the ball down.
He converted his own try for an 18-6 lead.
Two more tries to Justin Hunt and Charly Runciman before the break saw the home side head into the sheds with a comfortable 28-6 lead.
Ten minutes had passed in the second half before more points were posted.
A spread to the right, where the Cutters had most of their success, found winger Tyron Cranston who streaked down the sideline to get the teams sixth try of the game and a 32-6 lead.
In the 59th minute the Cutters got their last points in the game when Justin Hunt dodged and dived next to the posts to get his second of the afternoon.
Blake Wallace was having a successful day with the boot as he pushed the lead to 38-6.
Two late tries from the Sea Eagles from Dom Reardon and Michael Chee Kam soured what was a great performance as the Cutters sealed the 38-18 win.
Ilawarra Cutters 38. Tries: Hunt (2), Farrell, Hutchison, Wallace, Runciman, Cranston. Goals: Wallace (5/7).
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18. Tries: Reardon (2), Chee Kam. Goals: Aldridge (3/3).