By Jackson Russell at Brookvale Oval
The Illawarra Cutters continued their surge up the VB NSW Cup ladder on Saturday afternoon, scoring 11 tries to defeat the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 46-12 in gusty conditions at Brookvale Oval.
The travelling side was off to a flying start when late inclusion Jack Stockwell broke through the Manly defence to put Cutters on the attack immediately. Illawarra gained a repeat set and a well-placed kick from Drew Hutchinson saw winger Tyron Cranston get over for his first try of the afternoon.
Breaks from Shannon Wakeman and Kyle Eather lead to tries for Geoff Daniela and Cranston to nab his second. Cutters were up 12-0 after 20 minutes and dominating the match.
Illawarra turned up the heat again when Cranston dived over for this third try, Daniela found his second and centre turned second rower Nathan Green all touched down all in the space of five minutes for a 24-0 lead.
The Sea Eagles looked to rally and the man with the best hair in the VB NSW Cup, Clint Gutherson, stepped up, taking it himself from the scrum to go over untouched and put his team on the score sheet.
Manly looked revitalized in their next attacking raid and rampaging front rower Epalahame Lauaki was able to carry a few Cutters defenders with him to score next to the posts.
Remarkably despite trailing six tries to two, Manly went into the break very much in the hunt at 24-12.
The second half started with both teams having chances but eventually Willie Mataka got down next to the posts. Sam Duggan was able to kick his first goal of the afternoon to see the Cutters move 30-12 up.
From here Illawarra looked to run away with the match, Hutchinson put Green over for his second and the Cutters were heading home with a win at 34-12.
Movement of the ball out wide saw a try to Yaw Kiti Glymin in the corner as the Cutters extended the lead to 38-12.
Another break from big man Wakeman saw Green touchdown for his third of the afternoon and as the windy conditions were becoming unbearable winger Cranston went in for his fourth to round out a big 46-12 win.
Next week see’s Illawarra host Newcastle in what will be a televised game at WIN Jubilee Oval. While Manly will be travelling up to Wyong to face the Roos in an attempt to get back on the winners list.
Illawarra Cutters 46 (T Cranston 4, N Green 3, G Daniela 2, Y Glymin, W Mataka tries; S Duggan goal) def. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 12 (C Gutherson, E Lauaki tries; C Gutherson 2 goals) at Brookvale Oval.