ISP Match Preview: Mounties v Cutters

Mounties (1st) v Illawarra Cutters (3rd)
Aubrey Keech Reserve, Saturday 21 May
3pm

It was one of the more dominant performances seen in this year’s Intrust Super Premiership NSW: the Cutters took their home game to Newcastle and defeated the now last-placed Knights 48 points to four. The season’s largest winning margin to date is a pleasing notch on the belt of the Illawarra side, but they face a vastly different challenge this Saturday, taking on ladder-leaders Mounties at Aubrey Keech Reserve.

Cutters coach Jason Demetriou enjoyed the fashion in which his men responded to a heavy defeat before Representative Round, but is fully aware that they must lift another level to overcome the increasingly dominant force from Mount Pritchard.

“Obviously a disappointing result the week before that against Manly, so it’s good to see the boys bounce back with some energy,” Demetriou told NSWRL.com.au. “I thought we attacked really well and overall I was pretty happy.

“I think we’ve got to focus on being better than we were last week, that’s what we’re going to have to do to go up to Mounties. Their back five are playing as good as anyone in the competition at the moment and causing teams a lot of problems, along with their back rowers – I think (Mitch) Barnett is probably as good a back rower as there is in the competition.

“It’s a big ask for us, but we’re looking forward to it.”

With the Origin period approaching and Josh Dugan considered highly likely to be selected for the VB Blues, Demetriou left the door open for any of Taane Milne, previous Dragons fullback Kurt Mann or last week’s Man Of The Match Adam Quinlan to earn a place in the NRL side.

“Tane Milne made his debut against the Roosters a few weeks ago and more than held his own, ‘Quinny’ is obviously playing outstanding footy for us at the moment and Kurt, after a tough start to the year, I thought had his best game of the season. All three players are going to be vying for opportunities to play over the Origin period.”

Mounties, meanwhile, continue to boast a roster that is consistent in both its team list and on-field performances. Another win this weekend could potentially see the team extend their lead over the rest of the competition to an incredible six points.

Position   P W D L B F A +/- Pts
1 Mounties 10 8 0 1 1 262 176 86 18
2 NZ Warriors 10 6 0 3 1 250 168 82 14
3 Illawarra Cutters 10 6 0 3 1 267 204 63 14
4 Wests Tigers 10 6 0 3 1 248 219 29 14
5 Newtown Jets 10 5 1 3 1 202 168 34 13
6 Wyong Roos 10 5 0 4 1 230 208 22 12
7 North Sydney Bears 10 5 0 4 1 172 198 -26 12
8 Wentworthville Magpies 10 4 0 5 1 184 196 -12 10
9 Penrith Panthers 10 3 0 6 1 216 230 -14 8
10 Manly Sea Eagles 10 3 0 6 1 210 263 -53 8
11 Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 10 1 1 7 1 182 241 -59 5
12 Newcastle Knights 10 1 0 8 1 114 266 -152 4

This article first appeared on NSWRL.com.au | Written by Simon Masterton