NYC Charity Shield v South Sydney Rabbitohs
The St George Illawarra Dragons were 34-28 victors over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in their Charity Shield fixture at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Saturday.
The Young Dragons scored six tries in the high-scoring trial match which included winger Logan Yates bagging a double and centre Logan Yates converting five from six conversion.
Head Coach Mat Head had named a 21-man squad for the pre-season fixture which included four new debutants in fullback Jai Field, winger Donte Efaraimo, five-eighth Joe Lovodua and prop Jacob Esau amongst the starting team.
Unfortunately, the debutants were on the end of an early attacking play four minutes into the match courtesy of their opponents which ended with Rabbitohs second-rower Jacob McCudden scoring.
Rabbitohs five-eighth Harry Leddy then converted to make it 6-0.
Despite the initial setback, the Young Dragons managed to level-up proceedings when hooker Ryan Fletcher dove over the stripe having scooted-out of dummy-half adjacent to the uprights.
Dragons centre Paora Kemp followed-up with the extras.
The Young Dragons continued their striking momentum with a further four-pointer through winger Logan Yates just before the 20th minute mark.
Kemp made no mistake with his follow-on kick to make it 12-6.
Dragons halfback Jack Payne later powered his way over the line for the next try with Kemp again converting from the tee.
Teammate TJ Uele extended the lead in similar fashion to Payne’s four-pointer from the very next set, with Kemp again converting.
The Rabbitohs struck-back just prior to the main interval with a brilliant long-range effort which provided Tevita Cottrell the chance to get his name on the scoresheet.
The opposition carried this newfound momentum with them after the break and found themselves over the line again after hooker Maia Sands scored.
Leddy was accurate with his kicking to make it 24-16.
The Young Dragons resumed local service through centre Rueben Garrick’s darting run down the left flank on the hourmark to reassert a twelve-point advantage.
The Rabbitohs however remained undeterred and edged themselves back into contention once again when centre Damon Goolagong crossed in the 66th minute.
Leddy followed suit with the extra moments later.
The opposition levelled the game in the ensuing minutes when centre Josh Ellison’s try allowed Leddy the opportunity to convert to make it 28-all.
The Young Dragons though kept their bottle to take-out the game seven minutes from time when Logan dug-deep to notch his second four-pointer of the encounter.
Kemp added the extra-two points to see out the game.
St George Illawarra Dragons 34. Tries: Yates (2), Fletcher, Payne, Uele, Garrick. Goals: Kemp (5/6).
South Sydney Rabbitohs 28. Tries: McCudden, Cottrell, Sands, Goolagong, Ellison. Goals: Leddy (4/5).