Young Dragons Pluck Roosters
The St George Illawarra Dragons National Youth Competition team were 22-20 victors over the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park on Saturday.
The Young Dragons scored four tries in the tightly-contested encounter with winger Dee Jay Harris banking a double.
Co-Head Coaches Ben Hornby and Dean Young had made only the one change to the line-up announced midweek with utility Andrew McCarthy named on the interchange in lieu of prop Jay Gallagher.
Furthermore, in a straight positional swap, Logan Harris started as preferred hooker over Hayden McCrae who reverted to the bench.
The Young Dragons ran-out narrow 24-22 winners over their hosts the last time the two outfits met and both entered this contest equal second on the competition table.
Despite this, the Roosters were the first to cross the stripe when play commenced when halfback Tyler Cornish scored an individual four-point effort in the 13th minute.
Roosters centre Brendan Elliot’s 40-metre break to the try line doubled the host’s advantage seven minutes later.
Cornish converted to make it 10-0.
The home side continued their good attacking form on the half-hour mark as Roosters lock Jake Lewis’ cut-out pass found winger Jack Goodsell on the right flank.
Corninsh converted to make it 16-0.
However, the visitors rallied and scored their first try of the encounter through winger Dee Jay Harris’ nimble feet six minutes from the interval.
Harris followed through with his second of the fixture five minutes later and narrowed the deficit back to eight points.
The visitors continued their good form when play resumed and bagged their third try via prop Jack Kavanagh’s charge-and-barge between the sticks two minutes in.
Dragons five-eighth Shannon Crook converted to make it 16-14.
The Roosters though took full-advantage of the visitors handling error and reasserted their lead courtesy of Goodsell in the 53rd minute.
Yet the Dragons replied minutes later when fullback Matt Dufty blitzed passed the home side’s defence on the hour mark.
Crook converted and made it 20-all
Fortunately, the visitors took the lead when it mattered and clinched the two competition points when Crook converted a penalty goal five minutes from time.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22. Tries: Harris (2), Kavanagh, Dufty. Goals: Crook (2/4). Penalty Try: Crook (1/1).
Sydney Roosters 20. Tries: Goodsell (2), Cornish, Elliot. Goals: Cornish (2/4).