Steelers Start Strong
The Illawarra Steelers Junior Representative sides got off to a strong start in the first round of the competition at Morrie Breen Oval, Wyong on Saturday.
Both Harold Matthews (U16s) and SG Ball (U18s) sides came up against Central Coast Centurions in terrible conditions with heavy rain throughout the day.
After warming up in tough conditions, the Harold Matthews sides were first onto the field.
Central Coast was quickest out of the blocks and crossed through their hooker in the eighth minute.
However, Illawarra were able to respond through a break by Dylan Morris but Steelers were unable to convert.
With Central Coast going into half-time with a slender lead, the away side had work to do and four minutes after the restart, winger Brodie Nielsen was able to cross over out wide. The conversion was again unsuccessful.
Illawarra went back-to-back as Lock Jack Cross crashed over next to the posts before Central Coast was able to draw with two points.
A late penalty for Central Coast had scores all tied up but a short kick-off from Illawarra allowed field position to set up for an attack with seconds to go.
Five-eighth Dylan Morris was the hero as he slotted a field goal with the last play of the game giving the Steelers a 15-14 win.
SG Ball had a tough task to follow that game and Illawarra did not waste time as Brendan Woods scored in the corner with Paora Kemp converting from near the sideline.
Another two tries, to Blake Lawrie and Tyrone Sibraa, gave Illawarra Steelers a convincing lead heading into half-time.
However, on the stroke of half-time off a scrum, centre Lachlan Stein chipped and chased for himself with a great solo effort.
The second half was a fairly even encounter with both sides trading tries but the first-half onslaught by the Steelers was too much for Central Coast to overcome.
The Illawarra Steelers face St George Dragons next Friday night with Harold Matthews kicking off at 6pm, followed by SG Ball at 7.30pm.