Thirroul moved three points clear in second place on the Illawarra Coal League ladder with a comprehensive 30-6 victory over Wests at Parrish Park on Sunday.
In their most clinical performance so far this year, the Butchers scored 22 of their 30 points in the first half against an unusually lacklustre Devils outfit.
Brent Grose opened the scoring after nine minutes for a 4-0 lead.
Joel Johnson finished off a beautiful passing movement to extend the lead to 10-0 midway through the half.
The Devils resorted to the boot of Nathan Dureau for the hit back with Brad Scott latching on to a clever grubber to cut the lead to 10-6 but tries by Andrew McCarthy and Jamie Feeney saw the Butchers lead 22-6 at half-time.
A penalty goal to Reece Jaeger and Feeney’s second try were the only points posted in the second half, with the 30-6 victory to the Butchers emphatic.
“I didn’t really know what we were going to toss up after two weeks off but training was really good the last couple of weeks and we put in a really good performance,” Butchers coach Nathan Fien said.
“The second half fell away a bit but that’s to be expected but it was a great effort in the first half.
“It was a really big game for us. We spoke about how important it was early in the week, what it meant second versus third, and if we could get the win here we’d be three points clear going into that last round.
“That’s pretty important because we want to finish in that top two so I was really proud of the boys,” Fien said.