Millward wants repeat clash after loss to Magpies

Ian Millward
Ian Millward


His side may have thrown away the chance to be table toppers but Illawarra Cutters coach Ian Millward says he will relish the prospect of taking on Wentworthville again.

The Cutters were on the verge of usurping the Magpies' position for the NSW Cup competition lead but couldn't cling to their 12-point lead midway through the second half of a high-scoring clash at Pirtek Stadium.

Justin Hunt's double and a late Ryan Morgan try helped the hosts to an entertaining 36-30 win on a warm Saturday afternoon.

"I didn't think there was much between the two teams ... both threatened to win the game," Millward said.

"I thought, when we were up 12 points in the second half, we came up with a few errors defensively and in attack, which let them back in the game.

"I've got to say if that's one v two, I wouldn't be worried about playing them again.

"I think we'll probably get a lot out of the game.

"It was a missed opportunity, I thought, as we were in a position to win the game, but we didn't finish it off."

Parramatta's international props Fuifui Moimoi and Lee Mossop - the former on the outer with the Eels and other on the comeback trail - were a constant threat to the Cutters.

But the visitors looked every bit the competition leaders after a Sam Williams' double helped them open up a 30-18 lead early in the second half.

Moimoi responded when he crashed over from close range after Hunt almost completed his hat-trick and Henry Raiwalui hauled Wentworthville to within two a couple of minutes later.

It was Hunt's break that led to centre Morgan darting over on a subsequent play to give the Magpies the lead for good against the competition's best defensive team. The Cutters slipped to fourth after the loss.

"You're always going to be put under the pump in weather like that if you come up with errors," Millward said.

"I just thought if we had a little bit composure in a couple of aspects I thought we would have come up with the money."

Illawarra prop Josh Ailaomai was placed on report for a shoulder charge.

The Cutters will be on the road again when they meet Newtown on Saturday.

WENTWORTHVILLE 36 (Justin Hunt 2, Bureta Faraimo, Henry Raiwalui, Ryan Morgan, Fuifui Moimoi tries; Luke Kelly 6 goals) b ILLAWARRA CUTTERS 30 (Sam Williams 2, Charly Runciman, Willie Mataka, Rory O'Brien tries; Michael Witt 5 goals) at Pirtek Stadium.


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