Thirroul- Helensburgh thriller
Illawarra Mercury 06/07/2014
Heavyweights Helensburgh and Thirroul made impressive statements on the weekend and now turn their attention to each other for Saturday's northern derby.
League leaders Helensburgh put Dapto to the sword in a 56-12 hiding at Rex Jackson Oval, while the Butchers handed Collegians their third straight loss, winning 62-0.
The Tigers led 28-0 at half-time and went on to post 10 tries for the match with skipper Steve McCallum scoring a rare double and fullback Jason Raper also getting a brace.
Country representative Sam Clune led the way for the Butchers at Collegians Sports Centre, scoring a hat-trick and troubling the Dogs defence all afternoon.
Hooker Sam Coster, winger Lee Higgins and centre Damien Blanch all picked up doubles after the Butchers weathered a spirited start from the defending premiers who, with Dapto nipping their heels, are in danger of missing the semis.
Butchers coach Nathan Fien said they will aim to atone for a 25-0 loss the last time they met.
"They got us at Gibbo 25-0 so they're definitely the form side of the competition," Fien said.
"They haven't lost a game since Wests early in the first round so they're in form and we're really going to have to be on our game next week."
The Butchers performance against Collies came just a week after they put 30 points on top three rivals Wests and Fien was happy with his side after issuing them a challenge during the week.
"We spoke about how important this game was after they put a big score on us at Gibbo," Fien said.
"In the last round we had a really good win against Wests and didn't back it up the next week against Collies so I was really proud of the boys for putting in a good back-to-back effort."
Meanwhile, Wests rebounded from last weekend's loss to Thirroul with a 40-16 thumping of bottom-placed Corrimal.
Jordan Harty scored two tries, while DJ Purcell grabbed a consolation double for the Cougars.
Wests take on Dapto next week, Corrimal Collegians.