Tough Round For The Dragons
The St George Dragons Junior Representative teams both went down to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Saturday.
With the Dragons returning home from a double loss last week against the Balmain Tigers last round both teams had hoped for a win.
The Harold Matthews team (U16) kicked-off first with both sides unable to complete their sets due to several forward passes and penalties.
Despite some initial pressure from the Dragons in the opposing 20 metres, the visitors quickly took the lead, scoring two successive tries.
More mistakes from the Dragons kept them off the scoreboard until a quick try from Andrew Kapinga gave the Dragons hope.
A solid defence for the rest of the half kept the score at 10-6 until the Sea Eagles went in for a third try right before half time.
The visitors once again took advantage of several Dragons mistakes, scoring three more tries in the process and pushing the ahead 30-6.
A second try from Kapinga tightened the score but in the end, it was not enough for the Dragons, with the Sea Eagles scoring on the final play of the match with a final score of 36-12.
“It was a bit disappointing, you know as we know we didn’t play well,” said Coach Graeme Wynn.
“Our defence wasn’t the best. We had a few injuries, so that’s taken its toll on the players but we’ll fight again next week.”
The SG Ball team (U18) had suffered their first loss of the season against the Tigers the previous week and were looking for a win.
The SG Ball’s initial defence was very flat, with missed tackles and mistakes costing the Dragons dearly.
Two Sea Eagles tries clearly rattled the Dragons as their usual tight defence showed some cracks.
A breakaway try from Joe Lovodua not only put six points on the board for the Dragons, but also boosted the confidence of the team, despite another try by the visitors before the end of the half.
The Dragons began strong in the second half, with Lachlan Hughes setting up a try for Ben Cassell and pushing the Dragons to 18-12.
However, a bad offload after the kick-off saw Manly take possession and push ahead with another try.
A second try from Cassell, this time set up by Jai Doolan, again closed the gap but a weak defence allowed Manly to score two more tries.
Despite Cassell’s third try of the day, the visitors managed to secure a win at 34-22.
“It was very disappointing in the sense that to get back into the game each time then not complete the set after it, that’s just a cardinal sin,” said Coach Brad Liggins.
“We got to be better at that and we’re just not a good enough defensive side to defend errors like that.
“I don’t believe anyone is. So we need to be smarter in that area”.
St George Dragons 12. Tries: Kapinga (2). Goals: Romanovski (1/1), Clift (1/1).
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 36.
St George Dragons 22. Tries: Lovodua, Cassell (3). Goals: Stojanovski (3/4).
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 34.