THE Illawarra Cutters have upset former Scone junior Adam Clydsdale’s plans to take the field on NRL’s grand final day.
While Canberra suffered a heart-breaking 14-12 loss to the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night, its feeder club, the Mounties, endured a similar fate at Pirtek Stadium less than 24 hours later.
A Drew Hutchison field goal in the 73rd minute proved the difference in the 21-20 scoreline.
The Cutters now face either the Burleigh Bears or Redcliffe Dolphins in the 2016 State Championship at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, October 2 – a curtain-raiser to the Storm’s NRL decider against the Cronulla Sharks.
Clydsdale, with 44 NRL games under his belt, joined fellow Canberra first-graders Brenko Lee, Sam Williams, Jeff Lima, Jarrad Kennedy, Glen Buttriss and Shaun Fensom in the Mounties’ line-up, which finished in top spot.
The minor premiers had previously beaten Illawarra on two occasions in 2016, 50-16 (round five) and 22-10 (round 11).
But, the Cutters pushed those results to the side and fought back from a 20-16 deficit in the second half.
A double to Kalifa Faifai Loa levelled the match at 20-all before Hutchison put the icing on the cake.
Illawarra also boasted a strong team with the likes of high-profile NRL players Adam Quinlan, Kurt Mann, Taane Milne, Faifai Loa, Josh McCrone and Hutchison.
While disappointed by the defeat, Clydsdale can well be proud of his season with the club, following a move from the Newcastle Knights at the end of 2015.
The 2016 State Championship kicks off at 3.40pm.
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