Smith's four tries help sink Cronulla


Winger Nathan Smith scored four tries as the Illawarra Cutters claimed the scalp of NSW Cup premiers Cronulla to record their first win of the season at Remondis Stadium on Saturday.

A week after fumbling the ball over the tryline four times in a frustrating draw with the Warriors across the Tasman, the Cutters showed no ill effects from their heavy travel schedule with a polished 34-22 victory.

Smith was the star, bagging two tries either side of half-time, as Ian Millward's side improved markedly on their opening two rounds.

"We dominated the whole game really, leading at half-time and being the first to score," Millward said. "They didn't give in and they played very, very solid. I was quite impressed with them pre-game and during the game.

"Our execution in attack was very crisp. We scored some lovely tries. But probably the most pleasing thing was when they had five sets in a row, four from putting the ball in the in-goal, and I haven't seen that in a long time.

"There were a lot of positives out of the game."

Smith's two four-pointers before the break were complemented by an effort from the sharp Peter Mata'utia as the visitors had a 16-10 buffer heading to the sheds.

The Sharks got to within four when Canterbury-bound hooker Michael Lichaa crossed to cancel out Will Matthews' effort, but Smith's next two tries iced the game for the Cutters.

"Last week I thought we were the better team, but we just dropped the ball over the tryline," Millward said.

"The last two weeks have been very pleasing and there were a lot of good performances.

"It's creating healthy competition, but it's creating a good feeling among the group."

Hooker Craig Garvey also played his first game since being stood down for an incident outside a Wollongong nightspot before the start of the season.

He managed 20 minutes off the bench deputising for Shane Pumipi.

The Cutters will return to WIN Stadium for the first time since round one when they take on the Newtown Jets next Saturday.


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