By Jake Bull
The Illawarra Steelers Junior Representative teams had a successful time against the Sydney Roosters at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Saturday.
Both the Harold Matthews (U16) and SG Ball (U18) were victorious but had varying degrees of difficulty.
The Harold Matthews sides were first onto the field in perfect conditions for football.
The first 15 minutes both sides were feeling each other out but in the 16th minute Illawarra took the lead. A play the ball close to the line allowed dummy-half Harrison Reh to burrow over.
Tyson Simpson added the extras for a 6-0 lead.
Four minutes later the Roosters hit back when Duwayne Fuimaono crossed the try line.
Shannon Gardiner made no mistake with the conversion to even up the game at 6-6.
Shortly before the break the home side crossed again when a great break from fullback Steven Marsters found Sam McCann who streaked away to score.
Zac Lomax took over the goalkicking duties and gave Illawarra a 12-6 lead at half-time.
In the 34th minute, the Roosters drew level again when John Le’ota went over from close range.
Gardiner made it 12-all.
Back-to-back tries to the Roosters pushed their lead out to 24-12 before the fight back from the Steelers started.
Tries to Tomas Harris and Zac Lomax evened up the contest but in the 59th minute the comeback was complete.
After being pressured with the field goal attempt, Illawarra spread the ball wide. Tyson Simpson got the ball and powered over to seal the victory 28-24.
After the excitement of the first game, the SG Ball squads went onto the field.
It did not take long for the Steelers to assert their dominance when in the third minute Cooper Purcell dug his way into the in-goal close to the line for the first try of the game.
Patrick Herbert made the conversion for a 6-0 lead early on.
It was all the Steelers in the first half as they showed why they are near the top of the table.
In the sixth minute Jordan Pinnock sneaked over from close range and Herbert converted for a 12-0 lead.
Further tries to Guy Rosewarn, Max Bailey and Tristan Sailor sent the Steelers into the interval with a 24-0 lead.
Shortly after half-time the visitors got on the board when Wetere Pompey scored under the posts.
Lachlan Lam had the easy conversion to reduce the gap to 24-6.
That thought of a comeback was short-lived as a blocked grubber saw Bailey White pick it up and run away to score.
Two more tries to the Roosters made the scoreline somewhat acceptable but a further try to captain Reuben Garrick gave the home side a 36-16 win.
Illawarra Steelers 28. Tries: McCann, Simpson, Reh, Harris, Lomax. Goals: Simpson (1/1) Lomax (3/4)
Sydney Roosters 24.
Illawarra Steelers 36. White, Garrick, Sailor, Purcell, Pinnock, Rosewarn, Bailey. Goals: Herbert (2/5), Field (2/2).
Sydney Roosters 16.