By Lachlan Cheney
Illawarra Cutters captain Tyrone McCarthy is proud to be leading the team heading into the Preliminary Final fixture against the Newtown Jets at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
The Cutters were afforded a seven-day respite heading into the match-up having overcome Wests Tigers 32-22 at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah in their earlier Qualifying Final fixture.
McCarthy will welcome back several St George Illawarra Dragons teammates in Kurt Mann and Taane Milne for the upcoming game who will bolster the attacking depth with vital first-grade experience.
“Any experience is good experience, so obviously the boys who do come back for the last few games, they’ve already played with us throughout the year,” said McCarthy.
“It’s not a case of them coming back and being entirely new to the roster.
“Whoever steps out onto that park, I’ll be confident that we can get the job done.
“Silverware is the focus for the team now so we need to back-up with a strong performance against the Jets.
“All that hard work throughout the pre-season and the season, hopefully there can be some reward at the end.
“Obviously this time of year comes down to results and the performance against the Tigers was a bit patchy in spells, but it was enough to get a win and I think the coach was pretty happy.
“We need to look at why we had poor patches throughout the game.
“In the finals we need to be motivated for the full 80 minutes and knockout games are even more intense so lapses in concentration can cost us so we just need to set that straight.
“For me, captaining is definitely something I’m very proud of,” said McCarthy.
“I like to lead from the front and look to inspire some of the boys to put in and have a good performance.
“I think my role is to just keep the boys motivated when I’m out on the pitch.
“When things aren’t going to well, its helping them get back into check and moving the wheels in the right directions.”