Junior Reps Derby Awaits
The St George Illawarra Dragons Junior Representative sides will face one another at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Friday.
The St George Dragons have addressed their disappointing second-half performances against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks last round, which resulted in two narrow defeats to start the Harold Matthews (U16) and SG Ball (U18) seasons.
In particular, the Dragons’ SG Ball side has conceded five tries across the final five minutes of their last three games, which included two pre-season fixtures.
While last weekend’s performances can be somewhat attributed to the wet weather and temporary loss of some players to injury and National Youth Competition duties, Head Coach Mick Marton is confident his side can show improvement in similar conditions this week.
“We’ve just got to execute our plays better and I think if we do that we’ll be very competitive,” said Marton.
“Hopefully with a little bit of luck and better execution we’ll come away with the two points.
“On the weekend that last try came on the back of us being tired in defence because we just did too much defending and that’s only due to errors – all in all there were about fifteen errors that we made and that didn’t help our cause.
“Even with the five guys that went up to the 20s, we could have done with them but I think the guys that filled into their roles have stepped up.
“I think this weekend’s game is going to be a real arm wrestle and whoever makes the least mistakes will probably come away with the points.
“Every game’s going to be tough – when it was 14-12 against the Sharks, if our winger takes the ball in the corner there we finish up in front 16-14 and there was only two minutes left.
“But as soon as we made that mistake we gave a penalty away, the Sharks marched down the field and we were just too tired; they just got us on the left edge there.
“Not much is going to change in preparation, we’re just going to do a lot more team stuff and work on areas that we were a little deficient in against the Sharks.”
By contrast, the Illawarra Steelers Harold Matthews and SG Ball teams were both able to overcome the Central Coast last weekend.
The second round fixture will see both St George Illawarra Junior Representative sides aiming to get the result to push them further up the table and in the hunt for a final position.
The two teams have met already this year in a pre-season trial, and while Illawarra was successful on that day, SG Ball coach Shane Millard is wary of becoming complacent.
“We did get up last time we played but that was a trial and they (St George) will definitely have improved. But, so have we so we hope we can get them again.”
The Harold Matthews teams are first onto the field at 6.00pm before the SG Ball squads take the field at 7.30pm.