St George Illawarra Dragons representative center Euan Aitken scored a hat trick of tries to lead the young Dragons to a 44-16 victory over the Titans at Cbus Stadium on the Gold Coast on Sunday afternoon.
The Dragons bounced back from a disappointing performance against Penrith last week with a dominant eight tries to two display in warm sunny dry conditions.
“It was big improvement from last week for me and the team,” said Aitken. “I felt I was a bit flat last week, coming back form injury but today I felt really fresh and I received some really good ball so was happy to be able to score the three tries,” said Aitken.
Shannon Crook played in the halves today in the place of regular five-eight Drew Hutchinson who was called into the Illawarra Cutters NSW Cup Team and received special praise from Aitken.
“Shannon was back today and he was really good for us,” said Aitken. “Our combination worked really well and he created the opportunities and gave me the ball to be able to score,” added Aitken.
Both Dragons centers had outstanding games for the visitors with Brent Anderson scoring his double in the first half and Aitken, the first of his three to send the Dragons to the sheds at half time with an 18-10 lead at half-time.
The Titans scored the opening try of the second half but this was their last for the match as the Dragons ran away with the match with five second half tries to interchange forward George Lolo, half-back Shannon Crook, fullback Matt Dufty and two to Aitken.
Monday nights clash against the Storm is something all the Dragons NYC Players are looking forward too next week.
“It was a disappointing result for us when we travelled to Melbourne earlier in the year,” said Aitken. “We travelled down on the day and were flat and the boys are definitely keen to turn the result back home in Wollongong on Monday”.
Dragons: 44 Anderson 2, Aitken 3, G Lolo, Crook, Dufty Goals: Crook 6
Titans: 16 Hazard 2; Humphreys Goals: Elgey 2