Thirroul captain-coach Nathan Fien says side must step up

Thirroul's Sam Clune hard at work with a team that needs to step up week on week to make the grade.

Thirroul's Sam Clune hard at work with a team that needs to step up week on week to make the grade.

Thirroul captain-coach Nathan Fien believes last week's five-star performance against Wests will mean little if the Butchers don't produce a similar display in Saturday's away game against titleholders Collegians.

The second-placed Butchers dominated the Devils in a 30-6 victory, keeping the heat on competition leaders Helensburgh and extending the buffer between second and third to three points.

Collies have conceded an average of 31.3 points in their past three games and are battling to keep a grip on fourth spot.

Fien said his side won't under-estimate the Dogs.

"Our main priority this week is to back up that performance we put together last week, and just keep building towards the finals," the crafty halfback said.

"It was no doubt our best game of the year. I was really pleased with our defensive structures. Everyone bought into it. Defence is all about an attitude and that was definitely there.

"Attack-wise, our shape was really quite good.

"What was really pleasing was that our playmakers were making the right decisions on most occasions.

"It was a really pleasing game for us, but we've put it behind us and we're focusing on Collies this week."

Thirroul beat Collies 12-8 in the first encounter this season before the Dogs turned the tables with a 50-26 victory on May 18 on the Butchers' home turf.

"We also got up against Wests in round one and then we were given a bit of a shellacking the following week against Collies," Fien said.

"We came up short against a red-hot side out at Gibson Park that day. It's not out of the memory bank, but the challenge for us is to back up that effort from last week.

"Obviously the sides change week in and week out.

"All the local teams are affected by what goes on up above us in terms of the [Illawarra] Cutters.

"We've got Joely Johnson more than likely out this week and I'm sure Collies have their own issues with regards to that.

"We just focus on ourselves and what we've got available."

The Dogs need a win to keep Dapto at bay.

"It's a pretty big game for them in the sense that they've now got Dapto snapping at their heels," Fien said.

"I watched their game against Helensburgh. They competed really hard and they were probably just down a number or two.

"I'm sure they'll be up for this one, knowing what's on the line.

"Our focus is ourselves. It's a big game for us because we want to keep improving."

Helensburgh host Dapto in Saturday's other game, while Wests take on winless Corrimal at Parrish Park on Sunday.

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