By Jack Books
The St George Dragons Junior Representative teams notched positive results against the North Sydney Bears at TG Milner Field, Marsfield on Saturday.
The Harold Matthews (U16) were first on the field and quickly found themselves in a stalemate.
Both sides found themselves unable to take the lead, making several mistakes at critical moments, and then unable to exploit the mistakes.
Wild passes, offsides and knock-ons kept the score at 0-0 until the Bears went in for their first try, taking the lead 6-0.
However, the Dragons eventually found their momentum, displaying a strong defence and avoiding any further tries throughout the half.
Successive tries from Franklin Pele and Usaia Lovodua allowed the Dragons to take the lead before half time.
Another try in the early minutes of the half by Andrew Kapinga pushed the Dragons forward again at 16-6.
The game then came to a halt with a series of injuries and penalties raising tensions between both sides.
However, the Dragons went in with a second try by Kapinga winning the game at 22-6, despite them being down a player.
Coach Graham Wynn states that while the team still needs some improvement, they ultimately played a good game.
“We started off a bit slow, with dropped balls, in the first half we completed seven out of 14 sets so that knocked us around a bit,” said Wynn.
“The boys hung in there and the second half, they got better.
“So it’s a good start and now to continue on for the season, but it’s a good start.”
The SG Ball (U18) side followed and also dominated their first half.
Tries by Delane Cherrington, Jai Doolan and Lachlan Hughes put the Dragons ahead 16-0, despite a strong defence by the Bears.
North Sydney were able to push into the Dragons half but were unable to score.
The Bears quickly took the initiative in the second half, with a 50m break from the kick-off throwing the Dragons off their game.
This allowed the Bears to go in for their first try.
However, the Dragons stepped up their game and continued a solid offence, with tries from Treymaine Brown, Eddie Faalua and second tries for both Doolan and Hughes.
Excellent runs by Ben Cassell and Delane Cherrington and a last minute try saving tackle by Cassell kept the score at 38-4 until the Bear managed to secure a final try, finishing the game at 38-8.
Coach Brad Liggins was happy with the end result.
“Defensively it was a good effort,” said Liggins.
“Our attack though, we need to work on our ball control and keep improving in that area but I’m happy with our defence but we need to keep working on it.
“Some good work from individuals, our players, so well done to them.”
St George Dragons 22. Tries: Pele, Lovodua, Kapinga (2). Goals: Clift (3/4)
North Sydney Bears 6. Tries: Sabutey. Goals: Trunzo-Braga (1/1).
St George Dragons 38. Tries: Cherrington, Doolan (2), Hughes (2), Brown, Faalua. Goals: Aufaga-Toomaga (5/7).
North Sydney Bears 8. Tries: Eddy, Saunders. Goals: Tamai (0/2).