Young Dragons Secure Derby Bragging Rights
The St George Illawarra Dragons were 26-18 victors over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Remondis Stadium, Cronulla on Sunday.
The Young Dragons scored five tries in the local derby win which included winger Tom Carr notching a well-earnt double.
Head Coach Ben Hornby made several changes to the line-up he announced midweek with Dee Jay Harris preferred to Rowland Kotobalavu on the wing.
Additionally, halfback Jack Payne was called in to replace Drew Hutchsion was had been promoted to the first-grade team.
Dragons prop Jay Gallagher was elevated to the starting forward-pack in a straight swap with Jack Kavanagh who reverted to the interchange bench to join fellow front-rower Bronson Hoani.
The visitors entered the local derby in search of competition points as well as bragging g-rights having succumbed to a narrow 30-24 loss to their hosts when both team previously met in Round 12.
It took them until midway through the first stanza to inflict the first blow on their opposition with winger Tom Carr the beneficiary of some slick passing out to the right.
The Sharks however rallied and managed to equalise through hooker Jayden Brailey with four minutes before the interval.
Unfortunately, the hosts landed a further blow moments later through centre Joshua Addo-Carr to steal an 8-4 lead at the siren.
Fortunately, the visitors proved quickest off the mark when second-half play resumed and levelled proceedings through winger Dee Jay Harris’ swift feet in the 44th minute.
Dragons second-rower Ryan James converted to make it 10-8.
The Sharks however reprised a two-point lead through winger Semisi Vea five minutes later much to the delight of the home crowd.
Dragons winger Izaac Thompson took matters into his own hands with a blistering solo charge-and-barge try to reclaim the lead once more for the visitors in the 65th minute.
James added the extras to make it 16-12.
From here on in momentum had clearly shifted in the visitors’ favour and it was for all to see when Carr ran nearly the length of the field to notch his second of the encounter.
The Sharks notched a consolatory try through lock Jayden McDonogh in the 77th minute.
Sharks fullback Ryan Cummins converted to make it 20-18.
However, Dragons prop Blake Lawrie replied with a four-pointer of his own on the siren.
James converted to make it 26-18.
St George Illawarra Dragons 26. Tries: Carr (2), Harris, Thompson, Lawrie. Goals: James (3/5).
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18. Tries: Brailey, Ando-Carr, Vea, McDonogh. Goals: Cummins (1/4).