By Jake Bull
The Illawarra Steelers Junior Representative teams had mixed results against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday.
In torrential conditions, both the Harold Matthews (U16) and SG Ball (U18) struggled with ball security as the rain did not let up for either game.
It all started early with the Harold Matthews sides on first.
The hosts took the lead in the fifth minute of play when a penalty close to the line for the home side put the pressure on before second-rower Drew Gough went over.
Zac Lomax added the extras for a 6-0 lead.
Not long after it was the visitors who scored their first try of the afternoon.
Keeping the ball alive on the last play, an offload found the ball out wide as winger John Ryan scored in the corner.
Evander Swann added the extras out wide for a 6-6 scoreline.
With ten minutes to go before half time, the Bulldogs scored again.
A big gap opened for centre Tuipulotu Katoa and he duly ran through it.
Swann again converted to give Canterbury a 12-6 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs started strong again in the second half when Katoa scored his second try of the game for a 16-6 lead.
In the 40th minute, the Steelers showed some fight back when Sam McCann scored in the corner.
Three more tries to the travelling side meant they would come away with a 32-10 victory and leave the Steelers Harold Matthews side still without a victory this season.
Next up were the SG Ball teams and with the conditions deteriorating throughout the day, both sides were met with a soaked field.
It seemed it would suit the home better because in the fifth minute they scored first.
An offload close to the line was caught by prop Jordan Pinnock who used his size and strength to score.
Fullback Patrick Herbert had the easy conversion for a 6-0 lead.
In the 15th minute the Bulldogs hit back.
Despite the conditions most tries were being scored out wide and this was no different as centre Rhys Kearn went over in the corner.
Five eighth Adam Keighran converted for a 6-6 scoreline at the break.
The second half saw both teams struggle with the conditions but the home side were more disciplined as a second try to Pinnock and a try to Tristan Sailor cancelled out a Bulldogs try for an 18-12 victory.
Illawarra Steelers 10. Tries: McCann, Gough. Goals: Lomax (1/2).
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 32. Tries: Kato (2), Manu, Ryan, Talau, Main. Goals: Swann (2), Yarak (2).
Illawarra Steelers 18. Tries: Pinnock (2), Sailor. Goals: Herbert (3/3).
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12. Tries: Kerr, Kearns. Goals: Keighran (2/2).