Young Dragons Display Try-Scoring Clinic
The St George Illawarra Dragons were 58-18 winners over the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Friday.
The Young Dragons put on a try-scoring clinic over their opposition with ten tries in total including four to halfback Adam Clune.
Co-Head Coaches Ben Hornby and Dean Young had made several positional changes to the line-up announced midweek headlined by second-rower Jack Bird shifting into the fullback position.
Furthermore, hooker Thomas Freebairn was elevated to the starting pack alongside Jacob Host with Hayden McCrae reverting to the interchange bench.
Dragons prop George Lolo was additionally included on the interchange to round-out the four-man bench.
The home side entered the content placed second on the National Youth Competition table and made their intentions known early with a four-pointer to fullback Kodi Nikorima in the ninth minute.
Broncos halfback Ashley Taylor converted to make it 6-0.
However, the visitors soon replied four minutes later through winger Leigh Higgens down the left-flank after benefitting from a quick flick-pass by halfback Adam Clune.
Dragons five-eighth Shannon Crook converted to level affairs at 6-all.
The visitors continued to apply the pressure with their newfound momentum and took the lead following Clune’s fast reaction to the hosts’ failure to collect his grubber in goal.
Crook converted to make it 12-6.
This was followed-up by centre Euan Aitken’s individual charge past his marker to the line for a further four-pointer from 30-metres out in the 24th minute.
Crook converted once more to make it 18-6.
The Dragons continued applying the pressure on their hosts and following a well-struck forty-twenty by Crook, his halves partner Clune crossed the stripe for his second nine minutes from the interval.
Crook converted to make it 24-6.
Yet the Broncos re-gathered their form and managed to claw back the deficit on the cusp of halftime after five-eighth Duncan Paia’aua’s cut-out pass to centre Tom Opacic made it 24-10.
The Dragons were the fastest off the mark when second-half player resumed and scored through fullback Jack Bird in the 44th minute.
Crook converted to make it 30-10.
However, the home side were not deterred and replied shortly thereafter with a four-pointer down the right-edge courtesy of winger Jack Tuttle in the 48th minute.
The visitors though rallied and a group-effort allowed Clune to celebrate his hat-trick in the 55th minute.
Crook converted to make it 36-14.
The Dragons pivot soon crossed the white line on the hour mark for his fourth try of the encounter after being set-up by winger Sititveni Moceidreke.
Crook again converted to make it 42-14.
The Broncos continued going forward in search of further points and scored their fourth try of the match through prop Elijah Alick in the 68th minute.
However, the visitors compounded the home side’s woes when hooker Hayden McCrae in the 74th minute.
Crook converted to make it 48-18.
This was followed up by Moceidreke managing his name on the score sheet in the 77th minute
Fittingly, Higgens bookended the one-sided affair with his second try for the visitors on fulltime.
Crook converted to make it 58-18.
St George Illawarra Dragons: 58. Tries: Clune (4), Higgens (2), Aitken, Bird, McCrae, Moceidreke. Goals: Crook (9/10).
Brisbane Broncos: 18. Tries: Nikorima, Paia’aua, Tuttle, Alick. Goals: Taylor (1/4).