Warriors defeat sharpens Cutters' focus for Manly


Second to seventh - that's what one loss can do to you in a jam-packed NSW Cup top eight.

And you don't need to tell one of the Cutters' brightest prospects, Charly Runciman, how closely fought the second tier competition is shaping up to be this season.

"When we're all doing the right things ... all doing our role for the team - we've got one of the best teams in the comp, depending on injuries in first grade which often dictates our position," he said.

"When we play to our potential, we can get the job done and push for a finals spot."

Ian Millward's side will boast the quality of Runciman, Adam Quinlan, Kyle Stanley and Sam Williams in their backline for Saturday's clash against third-from-bottom Manly.

All are trying to earn a spot in the St George Illawarra squad in the last of four consecutive home games for the Cutters.

"Everyone is kind of in the same boat, just trying to play the best they can to push for a spot in that first grade team," Runciman said.

"It's good incentive for us to be playing well and having great form each week.

"I thought I started the year a bit slow, but I've been a lot more happy with the way I've been playing [lately]. I've just got to do that on a consistent basis."

Consistency was missing from the Cutters last week as they trailed by a massive 30 points against the Warriors before roaring back. Only a late field goal iced the New Zealand side's 35-28 win.

It's small solace for a side wary of Manly, who belted North Sydney last week.

"It was definitely a good sign for us to come back the way we did ... it was just unfortunate we didn't quite get back into the game," Runciman said.

"I'm not really sure how [Manly] have been going, but we've just got to worry about ourselves after last week's performance.

"As long as we can get all our systems in place and do what we've been doing a few weeks before I think we'll be a fairly good chance of getting the win," he said.

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