Young Dragons Topple Titans
The St George Illawarra Dragons were 48-18 victors over the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium, Robina on Sunday.
The Young Dragons scored nine tries in the impressive win with prop Blake Lawrie and winger Patrick Herbert both securing respective doubles.
Head Coach Ben Hornby had made several changes to the line-up announced midweek with utility Paora Kemp named as fullback for the injured Matt Dufty.
Additionally, five-eighth Drew Hutchison was named to pair halfback Jack Payne in the halves following Adam Clune’s elevation to the Illawarra Cutters team which competed in the NSW Cup competition.
The visitors opened up their scoring account following what had been an evenly contested match to that point through winger Tom Carr in the 25th minute.
The local Helensburgh Tigers junior had showed great skill in the build-up to avoid the sideline to dive over and plant the ball in the corner.
Dragons second-rower Ryan James converted to make it 6-0.
However, the hosts struck back moments later with a barge over by winger Greg Leleisiuao.
Titans five-eighth Brayden Torpy converted to make it 6-all.
The Dragons inflicted a further three tries in quick succession before the end of the first stanza to open-up a well deserved points-buffer.
Dragons centre Reuben Garrick was the first to get his name on the scoresheet five minutes from the interval before prop Nathan Leatigaga followed suit two minutes later.
Winger Patrick Herbert rounded-out the brace with a nifty chip which he calmly regathered himself before stepping past his marker to score just before the siren.
James converted two of his three attempts from the tee to make it 22-6.
The visitors continued where they left off following the resumption of second-half play and added a further four-points to their tally through centre Topiese Taufa in the 42nd minute.
Local Renown United junior Jacob Host followed this up with a try of his own six minutes later following a powerful run from 15 metres out.
The Dragons continued their dominance on the park and scored their sixth try of the encounter through Herbert prior to the hour mark after being the beneficiary of some slick passing.
James converted to make it 36-6.
Dragons prop Blake Lawrie later took it upon himself to add a double-haul of tries by showing great strength in both his efforts.
James converted both his efforts to make it 48-6.
The Titans however hit back with two consolatory tries in the dying moments of the game through both second-rower Josh Berkers and later hooker Chris Law.
Torpy converted both his attempts to make it 48-18.
St George Illawarra Dragons 48. Tries: Lawrie (2), Herbert (2), Carr, Garrick, Leatigaga, Taufa, Host. Goals: James (6/9).
Gold Coast Titans. Tries: Leleisiuao, Berkers, Law. Goals: Torpy (3/3).