Cutters focus on semi-final reward

Kyle Eather

Kyle Eather

RUGBY LEAGUE - ILLAWARRA CUTTERS

Assured of finals action, the Illawarra Cutters' march towards a top-two position continues on Saturday when they tackle NSW Cup premiership rivals Wentworthville at WIN Stadium.

Illawarra are two points behind the Magpies on the ladder, but have a far superior points differential and would leapfrog them into second with victory.

The Cutters have performed indifferently in the past two weeks, drawing 24-24 with Canterbury before a messy 26-12 win over North Sydney last week.

Coach Scott Logan said that all wins were vital at this stage of year.

"We're sitting third and looking towards a top-four finish so they're all important for us at this stage," Logan said.

"We're not getting ahead of ourselves. It's an old cliche but we really are just looking at every game one at a time and trying to improve our performances every week.

"We've had a bit of a lull the last two weeks but we've managed to gain a possible three out of four points during that period so it's not doom and gloom in that respect.

"We had a fairly close game with them first round out there at Parramatta Stadium. We surrendered a pretty decent lead, we were up 30-18 and they ended up beating us by a try.

"They've had a few injuries and a few guys who've gone up into their first grade squad so it's a different looking team but they still are a feeder club to Parramatta who have some quality players so we'll be expecting a tough game on Saturday."

Logan has named an unchanged line-up and said stability would be crucial over the closing rounds and finals series.

Fullback Kyle Eather has been in outstanding form, while young halves Drew Hutchison and Sam Duggan have done a fine job after the Cutters lost Michael Witt to injury and Sam Williams to the UK Super League.

"With Drew, there was always going to be a question mark over whether he could step up to the next level and I think he's handled that really well," Logan said.

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