Fired-up Cutters forced to cool heels with bye

RUGBY LEAGUE - NSW CUP

The way the Illawarra Cutters are going, perhaps the only thing that can halt their momentum is not having a game.

And that's exactly the scenario facing coach Ian Millward after the Cutters clicked up another gear with a 38-6 mauling of North Sydney at WIN Stadium on Saturday.

"I'd rather not have the bye at the moment," Millward said after the Cutters charged to a third straight win to cement their spot in the top eight.

"It's only early in the year and everyone wants to play.

"We've still got a lot of guys who need some more game time at the moment and it's just a situation we have to deal with."

Following impressive wins against premiers Cronulla and a resolute Newtown, the Cutters quickly banished the Bears after surging to a 22-0 half-time lead.

Fielding Michael Witt and Sam Williams in the halves after the pair dropped behind Adam Quinlan in the pecking order for the Dragons' No 7 jumper, the Cutters were far too slick in the opening 40 minutes.

Charly Runciman crossed for a second-half double and the only downside for the hosts was conceding a last-second try to Aaron Gray which blotted Illawarra's copybook.

Yet Millward is adamant there is still plenty of improvement left in his squad.

"This is probably our best defensive performance because they didn't look like scoring. I think that was the frustrating part for them.

"We turned good defensive situations into points and we had to work hard for our points."

The Cutters will host the Warriors at Kogarah on April 19, the third of four home games in-a-row.

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