St George Illawarra have grabbed a gutsy Round 5 win over the Newtown Jets at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon, with winger Zac Lomax contributing three tries for the Saints on their way to an 18-10 victory.
in what was their third win in a row, the Dragons showed immense composure to bounce back from a 10-0 deficit early in the first half to score 18 unanswered points, 12 of which belonged to Lomax - the speedster playing a key role in the Saints’ march toward victory thanks to his superb finishing.
Match: Jets v Dragons
Round 5 -
Venue: Henson Park
Despite the Dragons dominating possession in the first 10 minutes, the Jets would post first points on their very first trip down to the St George Illawarra line, with Aaron Gray finishing off a quick backline movement that included a lightning-quick pass from Kyle Flanagan. Gray was the ultimate beneficiary, diving over near the touch-line in the ninth minute to make it 4-0 in favour of the home side.
Newtown again looked likely side to score just a few minutes later after another strong movement that had the Dragons on the back pedal. But while the build-up had the Jets faithful on their feet, back-rower Scott Sorensen was unable to hold the final pass that would have seen him almost certainly crash over.
However Flanagan would extend Newtown’s lead in the 26th minute thanks to an offload from back-rower Billy Magoulias, who found the halfback lurking in support inside the 10 metres, resulting in a try under the sticks. Flanagan would add the extras to take make it 10-0 in favour of the Jets - but that would be the end of Newtown’s deposits to the score sheet.
Showing great composure, Saints would go on the attack just moments later, and within seven minutes of the break, finally opened their account for the afternoon when Lomax took a cross-field kick and raced over to score in the corner. It would be the beginning of a memorable afternoon for the Saints speedster.
With seconds left in the first half, Lomax would punctuate a determined set of hot-potato football from the men in red and white to take his team into the break behind by just two points at 10-8.
On the resumption, both teams traded opportunities close to their respective lines, but the Dragons would cross to take the lead in the 52nd minute, with Lomax grabbing his third of the match by plucking a well-weighted cross-field kick out of the air to score in the corner. Darren Nicholls’ third conversion attempt was waved away, leaving the Dragons ahead by 12-10.
Saints continued their fightback in the 63rd minute when Jai Field grabbed himself a long-range try that would ultimately prove to be the clincher - the fullback showing immense pace to cross under the posts. Nicholls added the extras to extend the Dragons’ lead to 18-10.
Newtown desperately fought to regain the lead in the final stages of the match with some strong attacking opportunities of their own, however the steely defence of the Dragons would hold, with the men in red and white deservedly taking home the two points.
St George Illawarra Dragons 18 (Z Lomax 3, J Field tries; D Nicholls goal) def Newtown Jets 10 (A Gray, K Flanagan tries; K Flanagan goal)