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The Cutters escaped with a 30-22 victory after surviving a spirited Magpies fight back who trailed 20-0 after 24 minutes.

The Magpies cut the deficit to 24-22 with eight minutes remaining but the Cutters held on to remain two points out of the top four.

With Beau Henry in the sin-bin, the Cutters took full advantage of the extra-man overlap to score three tries and earn a commanding lead to set up the win.

Shannon Wakeman and Russell Packer were sensational for the Cutters in the forwards with Wakeman deservedly earning man-of-the-match honours. Wakeman and Packer terrorised the Magpies with their damaging runs and offloads to provide plenty of second-phase attack for their side.

The Cutters took an early 4-0 lead in the eighth minute through a pinpoint side-footed cross-field kick by Shannon Crook for Eli Roberts to catch the two-hand grab and plant the ball in the right hand corner. 

After Beau Henry was sin-binned in the 12th minute for holding down in the break-away tackle for too long, the Magpies struggled with 12-men as the Cutters exploded to take a 20-0 lead.

Packer attacked the try line before offloading for Blake Wallace to pounce and score next to the posts for a 10-0 lead.

The Cutters scored again in the 17th minute with a lovely sleight of hands down the left hand passage as Chris Lewis offloaded for Kayne Brennan to score down the left. Crook added the extras for Cutters enjoy a 16-0 lead.

It was a further deflating blow for the Magpies when Junior Vaivai took a 90-metre intercept to score the Cutters’ fourth try in the opening 24 minutes.

The Magpies’ fight back began with a brilliant 15 metre two-man cut-out pass from Henry for Vai Toutai to score and trail 20-6.

Magpies made it back-to-back tries with Ryan Matterson slicing through the defence from 10 metres out to cut the deficit for a 20-12 halftime score.

Cutters extended their lead again 24-12 with 33 minutes remaining as Lewis managed to pounce on a pinpoint grubber by Wallace.

However, the Magpies wouldn’t relent as they narrowed the gap to eight points with 20 minutes to play in the contest. Henry threw another sensational cut-out pass for Halaufu Lavaka to cross in the right corner.

Lavaka crossed again for the Magpies to trail 24-22 with eight minutes to go in a grandstand finish.

However, the Cutters put the result to bed as Wallace put the exclamation point on a classy individual performance with his second try.

The Cutters face a tough road trip to New Zealand in a vital clash for two competition points against the second-placed Warriors, while the Magpies will prepare for a late-season surge with the bye.

 Illawarra Cutters 30 (B Wallace 2, E Roberts, J Vaiai, K Brennan, C Lewis tries; S Crook 2, Wallace goals) bt Wentworthville Magpies 22 (H Lavaka 2, V Toutai, R Matterson tries; B Henry 3 goals)

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.