Young Dragons Secure Big Win
The St George Illawarra Dragons National Youth Competition team were 40-16 winners over the New Zealand Warriors at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday.
The Young Dragons scored seven tries in the comprehensive win with an impressive display against the highly fancied home team.
The Dragons opened the scoring in the 18th minute through five-eight Drew Hutchinson.
The Dragons were defending 20m out from there own line when some scrappy play by the Warriors saw centre Euan Aitken swoop on the ball and race down field, drawing the full-back and passing inside to Hutchinson who raced away to score untouched under the posts.
Hooker Hayden McCrae converted to give the Dragons the 6-0 lead.
The Warriors kicked out from the re-start giving the Dragons the chance to attack again straight away and the Dragons made them pay.
A swift right side play saw Dee Jay Harris cross in the corner just two minute later.
McCrae converted to extend the Dragons lead 12-0.
Four minutes later the Dragons were in again thanks to clever footwork from halfback Adam Clune who stepped through the Warriors defence 15 meters out and crossed under the posts.
McCrae again converted giving the Dragons an 18-0 lead.
The Warriors hit-back late with two tries in the last four minutes of the half when center Ken Maumalo crossed on the left and a 40-20 from halfback Mason Lino followed by a quick tap saw him catch the Dragons napping to reduce the lead to one try at the break – Dragons lead 18-12.
The Dragons scored first in the second half just four minutes after the break. Interchange hooker Brody Rigg jumped out of dummy half and then received a quick ball back and muscled his way over the try line.
Sitiven Mocidreke converted to extend the Dragons lead 24-12.
In the 55th minute the Warriors ball movement to the right enable Centre Lafu Feagaiga to crash over the top of a couple of Dragons defenders out right. Lino was unsuccessful with the conversion, the Dragons lead reduced to eight points, 24-16.
Seven minutes later Dragons Prop Addin Fonua-Blake did it all himself, bursting through the Warriors defensive line on the angle to score 10m in from the left hand sideline.
McCrae converted, kicking the Dragons out to a 30-16 lead.
In the 73rd minute Dragons back-rower Jack Bird made a strong run down the right, attracting several defenders but managing to slip the pass to Aitken who scored. Mocidreke converted to extend the lead to 20 points, 36-16.
Two minutes later the Warriors were camped on the Dragons try line, when a grubber kick was put through Dragons fullback Matt Dufty collected it and raced 100m to score in the corner.
Mocidreke missed the conversion, the Dragons extending their lead, 40-16.
St George Illawarra Dragons 40 defeated the New Zealand Warriors 16
St George Illawarra Dragons 40. Tries: Hutchison, Harris, Clune, Rigg, Fonua-Blake, Aitken, Dufty. Goals: McCrae (3). Mocidreke (2), Hutchison (1/1).
New Zealand Warriors 16. Tries: Maumalo, Lino, Feagaiga Goals: Lino (2/3).