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By Blake Edwards

The Illawarra Cutters were 44-14 winners over Wests Tigers at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday.

The Tigers scored the opening try of the match in the eighth minute through second-rower Eson Masters off the back of a nice back line movement. 

There were some early signs of catch up footy by the Cutters, who chanced their arm on a few occasions, as well as coming up with some poor tackle five options.

The Tigers again capitalized on the slow start by the home side when centre Michael Chee Kam scooped up a loose ball to crash over the line in the 14th minute.

Tigers halfback Jordan Rankin converted to make it 10-0.

The Tigers took their opportunities and scored again through winger Watson Heleta in the 17th minute.

The hosts were the next to score when fullback Adam Quinlan broke through some defenders before linking up with centre Taane Milnes, who offloaed to flyer Tom Carr.

The Helensburgh Tigers junior sprinted down the touchline to bag their first in the 23rd minute to make it 14-4.

Unfortunately, Cutters halfback Drew Hutchison was replaced by interchange hooker Sam Coster in the 30th minute and took no further part in the game.

Cutters hooker Josh McCrone subsequently slipped into the halfback role. 

The Cutters bagged their second try in the 35th minute when Quinlan took a slip like catch, running 100  meters to plant the ball down.

Cutters five-eighth Shaun Nona added the two to make it 14-10.

A 38th minute penalty gifted the Cutters their third try through winger Porter who levelled the game at 14-all.

The flood gates soon opened for the Cutters just prior to the hourmark when Coster got his name on the scoresheet.

Nona slotted the goal giving them a 20-14 lead. 

Cutters second-rower Jacob Host was the next to score for the home side off a lovely inside outside play in the 65th minute.

Cutters prop Hame Sele converted again to make it 26-14.

The 69th minute saw Cutters prop Shannon Wakeman crash over in his 100th game for the Club.

Quinlan took over kicking duties and made it 32-14.

Cutters McCrone slipped through a gap close to the line to extend the cutters lead to 36-14 with less than ten minutes remaining. 

Quinlan again converted to make it 38-14.

A late intercept try to Cutters winger Mitch Porter in the 78th minute concluded the scoring.

Wakeman was handed the honour of taking the last goal in his milestone fixture which he easily slotted from right in front.

Illawarra Cutters 44. Tries: Porter (2), Quinlan, Nona, Wakeman, Carr, Coster, Host. Goals: Nona (2/5), Quinlan (2/2), Sele (1/1), Wakeman (1/1).

Wests Tigers 14. Tries: Masters, Chee Kam, Heleta. Goals: Rankin (1/3).

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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