By Jack Books
The St George Dragons hosted the Western Sydney Academy of Sports (WSAS) at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Saturday.
While the Harold Matthews narrowly missed out on a win last week against the South West Sydney Academy of Sports, the SG Ball scored a victory against the West Coast Pirates in Perth.
The Harold Matthews started first and quickly dominated the opening half.
While the Dragons still made mistakes throughout the half, including bad passes leading to penalties and knock-ons, their defence was in top form, with WSAS unable to score any tries during the half, including one disallowed.
Tries from Usaia Lovodua and Hussein Awada, as well as a penalty goal from Anthony Romanovski pushed the Dragons ahead 12-0 at half time.
However, the Dragons’ form quickly collapsed in the second half with a series of tries from WSAS which left the Dragons without possession of the ball for the first 20 minutes of the second half.
Poor penalties by the Dragons kept WSAS on the move leading to six tries throughout the half, pushing the score to 34-12 at full time.
“The boys, they just missed too many opportunities in the first half," said Dragons Harold Matthews Coach Graeme Wynn.
"Going to 12-0 in the first half, we were playing good football. Unfortunately, our lack of discipline cost us in the first half. We didn’t have the ball for 20 minutes.
"It wasn’t because we weren’t playing good; it was out lack of discipline, missing tackles and cost us the game. They had 34 points on us.”
The Dragons SG Ball team followed thereafter and started with an early try by Ben Cassell.
They took the lead but were quickly put on the defensive with WSAS playing 10 metres from the try line.
However, WSAS took advantage of several penalties, scoring 3 tries and seizing the lead.
It looked as if the Dragons would go into the second half at a disadvantage until a break by Cassell lead to a try from Lachlan Hughes.
The Dragons again seized the lead with a quick try from Ofa Tuitupou pushed the Dragons into the lead again and a second try from Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga securing the Dragons dominance.
However, disallowed tries plagued both sides, with knock-ons and double movements keeping the score stale until WSAS scored and even kicked a penalty goal, pushing them back into the lead at 24-22.
It seemed that WSAS might win their second game of the day until a try in the last 10 seconds of the match by Delane Cherrington, ending the game at 28-24
Despite the win, Coach Brad Liggins feels that the team still needs to work harder.
“Very flat today, I thought very flat," said Lgiins.
"Full credit to Western Sydney, they really gave it to us.
"We just got to go back to the drawing board and work harder in the coming weeks because we’re going to get a tougher opposition.
"Work from there."
Dragons: 12. Tries: Lovodua, Awada. Goals: Clift (1/2). Penalty Goals: Romanovski (1/1).
WSAS: 34. Tries: Rouss (2), Nohra, Puru (2), Real. Goals: Aviata (5/6).
Dragons: 28. Tries: Cassell, Hughes, Tuitupou, Aufaga-Toomaga, Cherrington. Goals: Aufaga-Toomaga (4/5).
WSAS: 24. Tries: Kerr, Metuangaro, Ripepi, Apelu. Goals: Metuangaro (3/4). Penalty Goals: Metuangaro (1/1).