St Helens win the battle of the Red V!

St Helens won the Battle of the Red V after beating St George 18-30 in Wollongong, Australia!

Our English outfit took the lead in the eighth minute. After earning a penalty which pushed them into the hosts’ territory, on the last skipper James Roby put in a grubber kick from dummy half in the opponents five metres, Lewis Dodd picking up the loose ball to dive over from close range. Tommy Makinson converted, 0-6 we led.

That lead was further extended three minutes later. The Dragons knocked the ball on from a high kick in their own ten, from the scrum Saints threw right as Dodd found Makinson on the wing, he threw a good offload whilst being tackled to Jack Welsby who then burrowed his way over from close range. Makinson missed the conversion, 0-10.

Another good chance soon followed. Saints again moved well downfield and Jonny Lomax was just about unable to keep hold of a pass which would have seen Saints with a three against two down their right edge, 0-10 it remained.

The Dragons then got back into the game. After camping for a few repeated sets on the Saints line, Ben Murdoch-Masila broke through the visitors line and found Zac Lomax on his outside to go over in the corner. Lomax converted his own try, 6-10 they trailed.

The scores were then levelled as Treigh Stewart broke through the Saints line before stretching over to plant the ball down. Lomax converted again, as St George took the lead for the first time on the night, 12-10.

Once again the scores were tied shortly after. Welsby made a break down the heart of the Dragons line but was stopped by try-scorer Stewart, the referee judged that it was a hip drop tackle, therefore Saints were awarded a penalty and the Dragons number one put on report. Makinson kicked the two, 12-12.

With six minutes to go until the break, the visitors once again took the lead. Saints throw it from left to right and Curtis Sironen manages to throw an offload before a big hit to Makinson who cuts back off the wing before powering over from close range. Tommy was unable to convert his own try, 12-16 Saints led.

There was time for a final score of the half for the visitors. A high kick wasn’t dealt with by Stewart, the loose ball was allowed to bounce and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook flicked the loose ball back for Will Hopoate to stroll over for the try. After a long review the try was ruled out for a Sione Mata’utia knock on.

Saints got the ball back as St George had knocked on first, despite camping on the line Makinson tried a kick and chase down the right wing but the ball was put out in-goal, but a good first fourty for the visitors as they led 12-16 at the break at the WIN Stadium.

The first half of the second period was dominated by both sides being very good at completing their sets. The first real chance came as the Dragons broke down the middle of the Saints pack but Saints recovered and stopped the break. The following play, on the last tackle, Mata’utia made a great tackle on the Saints line to stop the hosts at they had looked destined to once again level the scores. It remained 12-16.

A couple of minutes later, the visitors had a chance. Following a successful ‘Captain’s Challenge’ the Saints got the ball in their opponents 20. The ball was thrown from left to right but Lomax’s pass was tipped into the air onto the floor by a St George defender and Saints were unable to capitalize.

The visitors then did extend that lead in the 63rd minute. The hosts were awarded a penalty but did not find touch, as Tee Ritson kept the ball in-field. From the error Saints drove downfield and on the last Dodd’s kick was not dealt with which allowed Welsby to claim the ball, he was tackles inches short of the line. Joey Lussick pinched one from dummy half the following play though from close range. Ben Davies converted, 12-22 the visitors led.

Another try looked to have followed, Agnatius Paasi found Dan Norman, he found Davies, who then found Lussick again who crossed for his second, but the referee had ruled that the final pass had gone forward so it remained 12-22.

Our fifth try, which is worth a bonus point in the Pre Season Challenge, came with ten minutes to go. The ball was moved through the hands down the right edge as Sironen found Konrad Hurrell who then found Ritson and he sped down the right wing before diving over in the right corner for his first Red Vee try. Davies converted from the right touchline, 12-28.

The following kick off was not dealt with by the visitors and the hosts forced a goal-line dropout. From it they moved downfield and Savelio Tamale broke through the line to score. Alex Lobb converted, 18-28.

Another successful ‘Captain’s Challenge’ from the visitors gave them the chance to kick two points with the last play of the game. Davies converted as the visitors won the battle of the Red Vee with a 18-30 victory over the Dragons at the WIN Stadium in the Pre Season Challenge!

Match Summary

St George Illawarra Dragons Team: Treigh Stewart, Mathew Feagai, Moses Suli, Zac Lomax, Mikaele Ravalawa, Connor Muhleisen, Moses Mbye, Joshua Coric, Jacob Liddle, Blake Lawrie, Ben Murdoch-Masila, William Burns, Jaiyden Hunt.

Interchanges: Tautau Moga, Max Feagai, Nick Lui-Toso, Dan Russell, Haele Finau, Sione Finau, Alex Lobb, Savelio Tamale, Jackson Shereb, Joshua Cook, Toby Couchman, Zac Herring, Dylan Egan, Ryan Couchman, Aaron Johnson.

Tries: Zac Lomax (19), Treigh Stewart (24), Savelio Tamale (73)

Conversions: Zac Lomax (2 from 2), Alex Lobb (1 from 1)

Saints Team: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Konrad Hurrell, Mark Percival, Will Hopoate, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Sione Mata’utia, Joe Batchelor, James Bell.

Interchanges: Jon Bennison, Agnatius Paasi, Jake Wingfield, Sam Royle. Lewis Baxter, Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Curtis Sironen, Dan Norman, Ben Davies, Tee Ritson, Dan Hill.

Tries: Lewis Dodd (8), Jack Welsby (11), Tommy Makinson (34), Joey Lussick (63), Tee Ritson (70)

Conversions: Tommy Makinson (1 from 3), Ben Davies (2 from 2)

Penalties: Tommy Makinson (1 from 1)

HT: 12-16

FT: 18-30

Attendance: 6,483

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