By Olivia Barry & Jack Clifton
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 were both defeated by the Newcastle Knights at Cessnock Sports Ground.
The Dragons Harold Matthews Cup team was beaten 42-4 by the their hosts in a game of very few positives according to Coach Graeme Wynn.
“Hooker Andreas Joannou and captain Harris Georgopoulos were defensively very solid but we were simply outplayed by a far better team,” said Wynn.
The Dragons SG Ball team were also defeated 70-10 by the home side in a game which left Dragons Coach Brad Liggins at a loss for words.
“I know Newcastle are one of the heavyweights of this competition , but the gravity of the loss leaves me dumbfounded," said Liggins.
"I am left questioning the effort of some of our players."
The Illawarra Steelers Harold Matthews Cup (U16) and SG Ball (U18) were also defeated by the Parramatta Eels at WIN Stadium, Wollongong.
The Steelers Harold Matthews Cup were defeated 34-26 in a game which saw them conceede all but six points in the first twenty minutes of play.
A second-half comeback on the back of a string of tries placed the Steelers in position for a massive upset, but the Eels hung on to clinch the win.
“It was a slow start but the boys showed good courage and gave the Eels one almighty scare in the second half," said Steelers Team Manager Paul Hatchell.
The undefeated streak of the Steelers SG Ball team finally came to an end after being comprehensively defeated 44-10 by the visitors.
They had themselves in an arm wrestle with the Eels with the scores locked at 4-4 after thirty minutes of play but two late first-half tries to the visitors started the downfall.
“We dropped a lot of ball, gave a lot of penalties away and just weren’t strong enough through the middle,” said captain Hayden Lomax.
“At the end of the day, they just ran harder, tackled harder and ran over the top of us”.
Steelers SG Ball Coach Shane Millard agreed with his skipper's words.
“This is the standard we’re going to come up against in the semi-finals, and we must rise to the occasion," said Millard.
"We had a select few players who worked really hard, but Parramatta were just too good."