Junior Representatives: Round 7
By Olivia Barry & Jack Clifton
The St George Illawarra Dragons Junior Representative squads continued their respective campaigns on Saturday.
The Illawarra Steelers Harold Matthews Cup (U16) and SG Ball (U18) teams travelled to face the Western Suburbs Magpies at Kirkham Park, Camden.
The Steelers Harold Matthews Cup team were never in the hunt when they went down 48-8 to the Magpies.
An early try to winger Dallas Harrison gave the Steelers some hope, but a run of scoring by the Magpies saw Illawarra trail 4-30 at half time.
Lock forward Shalom O’Ofou and young half Sam Hooper continued their recent impressive form, but their teammates generally found their Magpies opponents too big, strong and skilful to be able to compete with them.
“It was very disappointing, we just didn’t turn up,” said Coach Adam Blake.
“We have been focussing on our line speed and marker defence, but neither happened.”
It was a different story with the Steelers SG Ball Cup team who downed their hosts 54-10 to record their seventh straight victory.
Despite conceding an early try the Steelers dominated the first half scoring, going to the break with a comfortable 26-4 lead.
Five second half tries produced a one-sided final score line which also saw centre Zac Lomax score a try and kick seven goals overall.
“We played really well with our quick play-the-balls and our completion rate was high,” said Lomax.
Steelers Coach Shane Millard was also please with the result.
“We put ourselves under some early pressure, and defended a lot,” said Millard.
“But I am very proud of the boys and their efforts to date.
“We have two more games to play before the Finals begin.”
The St George Dragons Harold Matthews Cup (U16) and SG Ball (U18) teams also travelled to face the Parramatta Eels at New Era Stadium, Cabramatta.
The St George Dragons Harold Matthews Cup side were soundly beaten 32-6 by their hosts having been unbeaten in their previous four matches.
The Dragons were forced to rue missed tackles and loss of concentration in vital periods of the game which hurt them dearly.
One bright spot for the Dragons was the performance of hooker Andreas Joannou who scored the lone try for the Dragons and was a brick wall in defence.
"We started very slowly but during the second half we played some good footy,” said Coach Graeme Wynn.
The St George Dragons SG Ball team also had a disappointing 46-10 loss to the Eels after a positive start where they dominated proceedings.
Several powerful runs through the middle of the field lead to an early try to centre Setefano Ikamui.
However it was a different story for the remainder of the half as the home side ran in four unanswered tries to take a 22-4 half-time lead.
The second half mirrored the first with the visitors dominating possession early before being overrun by their Eels opponents.
Captain Joel Holdsworth provided a bright spot for the young Dragons in the second half with a clever try after a kick and chase.