The St George Illawarra Dragons Junior Representative squads continued their respective campaigns on Saturday.
The St George Dragons Harold Matthews Cup (U16) and SG Ball (U18) teams hosted the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah.
The St George Dragons Harold Matthews Cup team were 22-20 victors in a heart-stopping game to continue their winning ways in the somewhat breezy conditions.
The hosts had all the running in the early exchanges and opened up a ten-point lead inside the first ten minutes of play.
However, the game evened out in the middle periods, with the home side displaying some determined defence to withstand several Rabbitohs attacking raids in the final stages to win by a narrow two point margin.
“It was a good win for the boys and they really dug deep in that second half,” said Coach Graeme Wynn.
“They displayed some fantastic, gritty defence at the finish and I’m happy to get away with the win and two valuable competition points.”
The St George Dragons SG Ball team however suffered a 28-4 loss in their corresponding fixture despite an impressive opening stanza of play.
“It was a case of deja vu as we competed well for periods of the match, but our handling errors and defensive lapses let us down in others,” said Coach Brad Liggins.
The Illawarra Steelers Harold Matthews Cup (U16) and SG Ball (U18) teams hosted both the SWSAS and West Coast Pirates at WIN Stadium, Wollongong.
The Steelers Harold Matthews Cup team were 46-8 winners over the SWSAS with both halfback Sam Hooper and winger Dallas Harrison scoring the first two tries of the game early on in the encounter.
The visitors struck back with a try of their own but were unable to contain further four pointers from the wingers Lachlan Rogers and centre Elijah Humble.
On the half time buzzer SWSAS scored again to bring the halftime score to 24-8.
However, that was as close as SWSAS got, with second half tries to lock Shalom O’Ofou, second-rower Bailey Antrobus, centre Aaron Schoupp and captain Ben Fulton and seven from eight conversions by centre Schoupp.
“The boys trained really well this week, and it was pleasing to see them bring this onto the field with them,” said Coach Adam Blake.
The Steelers SG Ball team recorded a comprehensive 46-16 win over the West Coast Pirates shortly afterwards.
Steelers lock Jack Cross and centre Zac Lomax scored early tries before the boys from Perth put ten points on the board.
Further first half tries to centre Matheson Johns and two to fullback Dylan Morris saw the half time score board read 30-10.
Two second-half tries to winger Sam McCann and one to fellow winger Jason Gillard, as well as eight goals by Zac Lomax goals from nine attempts preceded a final converted Pirates try.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” said centre Matheson Johns.
“Perth never stopped fighting, so if it wasn’t for our boys coming together, it could have been a lot closer.”
Coach Shane Millard was equally unconvinced about the efforts of his team.
“Whilst I am happy for the boys to make it this far, they showed some disrespect for the ball and for the opposition in what was possibly our worst performance all season,” said Millard.