His side was uncharacteristically sluggish out of the blocks, but Thirroul centre Steve Marsters says there's no secret to what's sparked the Butchers dramatic form resurgence.
He's far too humble to suggest his own return to Gibson Park after a brief flirtation with the NSW Cup has sparked the Butchers turnaround, but there are plenty of others willing to suggest as much.
The former Dragons and Rabbitohs outside back has emerged as a strike weapon on what's become the Butchers go-to edge alongside reigning Paul McGregor Medalist Tarj Whitford.
Crucially, it requires no trick shots, with Marsters saying simplicity has been the name of the Butchers game that's seen them notch 90 points in their past two outings.
"Obviously the start of the season was a bit of a bit bit rough for us having those few losses that knocked us out of the top three," Marsters said.
"Coming off the end of last year we were minor premiers so, over the last couple of weeks, we've proven to ourselves that it's all about keeping it simple and leaving the fundamentals in the game as much as we can.
"It's kind of the way we play, that's just how we are as a team so we came together and Jacko (coach Jarrod Costello) put in a good strategy for us to go with and all the boys turned up for it.
"For the boys that were playing last year, it's all about chemistry for us and having Boyley (Jarrod Boyle) and Deitzy (Brad Deitz) come in the team, it's been a great turn for us.
"Obviously the boys have come together as a group and we are clicking as a team now. We understand what we want out of each other and it's basically just doing our best in our own roles."
Saturday's clash with Collegians will be the Butchers return home for the first since staking their premiership claim with a 40-14 pasting of a previously unbeaten De La Salle.
A loss, and a drop to 2-4 on the season could well of rubbed them out of top-two reckoning. While earning those two bites at the finals cherry remains an unspoken goal, Marsters said the performance was about turning one on for the Gibson Park faithful.
"Amongst the playing group we didn't really think about the leaderboard," Marsters said.
"For us is was more just trying to get in a good game for our crowd and for us boys as well. We just turned up with the right mindset, we needed to do a job, we needed to get it done.
"We came out firing from the start and the rest just played on. We just kept, kept it simple as much as we can. Being in like the top two or thereabouts is a goal that we want to achieve, but it's not going to help us thinking about that this week.
"We just try and worry about what we can control. If we turn up on the day, the end result can can put us in a good spot good."
The Butchers will have the added motivation of turning around a limp 24-6 loss to Collies in round three. It was without question their most disappointing performance of the season, but not something Marsters has given any thought to.
"We're not a team that likes to think about revenge," Marsters said.
"We do keep it in the back pocket sometimes if we need to, but we're just happy to be where we are and with the good footy that we're playing now.
"The chemistry between the boys, we're feeling pretty confident, but Collies always turn up with a good team and it's always going be a tough battle between us."
Collegians halfback Zeik Foster is the first to point out the fact that Marsters was not on the pitch that day in round three, with the Dogs expecting a very different Butchers outfit on their own patch.
"The big in is Stevie Marsters," Foster said.
"He wasn't playing last time around and he's their strike weapon. We saw them put a score on De La the other week, so they're playing some really good footy and we're going to have to be up for it.
"We've come up against Corrimal and Dapto the last couple of weeks, with the bye in there as well, and had some good wins, but we're looking forward to playing Thirroul again. It's always always a tough game, especially heading to their home turf."
While wins against the lowly Canaries and Cougars has kept the reigning premiers' ball rolling, Peter Hooper's side will be looking to snapr a run of outs against top-four opposition.
The Dogs led by eight at halftime against De La Salle in Magic Round only to be blown out 28-14 before going down 22-10 to Wests a week later. The strength of the turnaround will be put to the test by the Butchers, but Foster says his side hasn't searcher far and wide for answers.
"We just got too inconsistent there in a couple of games against De La and Wests," Foster said.
"Against De La we had a really good first half and we were up by eight points at halftime. We just came out and played some horrible footy and ended up getting taught a lesson that day.
"Then we came up against Wests the next week and ended up getting blokes sent off the park and just doing ourselves no favours, just playing silly footy. We had a chat about it just playing smarter footy and not shooting ourselves in the foot.
"The discipline side of it was pretty easy to fix but, in those losses, especially to De la in the second half we dropped a lot of footy, we had poor ends to the sets and against top quality sides, you just can't get away with that in this competition.
"The last couple of weeks we've been really good, but this will be a massive test for us now coming up against the Butchers up there."
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