McGregor pleased with his players' hard hits in trial

Illawarra coach Paul McGregor was pleased with the physical aspect shown by his Cutters in their 24-16 win over Windsor in a trial match at Ron Costello Oval on Saturday.

The Cutters led 20-4 after 55 minutes with tries to Jack Twist, Chris Astill, Kyle Martens and Jason Raper and conversions to John Kennedy and Kyle Eather.

Windsor narrowed the gap to 20-16 before Josh Toole sealed victory with a 79th-minute try.

"We jumped to a comfortable 20-4 lead and then let in a couple of soft tries, before scoring one right on the bell," McGregor said yesterday.

"It was OK. Ball security isn't a major part of trials and it was no different in this one.

"The physicality of the game was good. So the most pleasing part of us was we really wanted to get in and get dirty, which is what we're after this time of year, and we had a lot of guys that have come to the squad that've got a bit of whack in them, which is good.

"That's the most pleasing thing because you don't see that at the training field.

"All you see is your ballwork and your D [defence] and that but when it comes to the game you want to see who's going to stand up when the game's at its most important.

"We had a lot of players do that on the weekend.

"To come through unscathed and to get a win was good."

McGregor also was positive about the number of halves combinations - including Jared Allen, Nathan Waters, John Kennedy, Scott Briggs and Kyle Eather - that he tried in this game.

The Cutters will play another trial match this Saturday against the Canterbury Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground.

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