Eamon Hillen makes welcome return to Helensburgh Tigers

Halfback Eamon Hillen is an influential figure for Helensburgh. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Halfback Eamon Hillen is an influential figure for Helensburgh. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Helensburgh will be looking forward to the return of halfback Eamon Hillen, after the Illawarra rep spearheaded Country Firsts to a 58-6 victory over the Hawaii Chiefs in Honolulu earlier this week.

Hillen scored a hat-trick of tries and kicked three goals for a personal tally of 18 points, with Collegians skipper Jarrod Thompson notching a try and Thirroul livewire Sam Clune kicking three goals in the win.

Hillen's performance came as no surprise to Helensburgh football manager Col Doran, who's watched Hillen and halves partner Jarrod Boyle, who also combined to help secure Illawarra's second consecutive Country Championship title two weeks ago, steer the Tigers to the top of the ladder this season

"He's a class footballer who's been scoring some and setting a few more up with us and he's got a good football brain," Doran said.

"He's definitely been one of our key players all year and he's been playing some good football, so we're certainly looking forward to getting him back."

Helensburgh faltered for the first time in seven weeks against Thirroul last week, losing 20-14 at Gibson Park.

It saw the Butchers draw level with the Burgh at the top of the table on 19 points, though the Tigers have scored the most points (345) and conceded the least (154) to retain top spot on the ladder.

The Tigers play last-placed Corrimal at Rex Jackson Oval on Saturday ahead of matches with Wests (at home) and Collegians in the final round and will likely need to win all three to secure the minor premiership, with Butchers breathing down their neck.

The Butchers will be heavily favoured to beat fifth-placed Dapto at Gibson Park on Saturday, and barring a massive upset against a winless Corrimal the following week, they will host Wests in a final-round blockbuster with a possible chance at snatching top spot.

While first and second spots both book a major semi-finals berth and two bites at the grand final cherry, Doran said the Tigers were still aiming to be first past the regular season post.

"We've got our next two at home, and we haven't lost at home all year yet, so you've got to be confident but you can't jump the gun. All you can worry about is this weekend," he said.

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