This weekend marks the start of the NSWRL junior representative competition and the St George Dragons will open their season against the Newcastle Knights at Mascot Oval.
After a long pre-season of training and a number of trial matches, all of the action starts this weekend with a group of young men wearing the famous Red V jersey.
SG Ball Coach and St George District Football Manager Kyle Stanley is excited about the season commencing.
“Like every pre-season, the players and staff work so hard and the excitement builds ahead of round one,” Stanley said. It’s great to finally have the season starting.
“We’ve had a couple trials, a week off and now the team is ready to rip in. I’m excited as well.
“We got some confidence out of those trials but now it’s time to take that into the season proper.”
Stanley knows full well what it takes to perform at this level and when asked how a Stanley coached team will play, he had a few key points he wants his chargers to focus on.
“It’s certainly a defence first mentality for me. Secondly, it’s the importance of that middle-third. If you can get control of the ruck at this level, I think you can control the pace of the game and control the flow.
“There are so many momentum swings at this level and if you can focus on getting the little things right, you’ll go a long way towards winning.”
One thing standing in the SG Ball side’s way will be a tough and gritty Knights outfit who are traditionally a strong performer at junior representative level.
“Newcastle are strong country boys who just love their footy. They’ll play tough and our entire team will know they are in a match.”
Stanley is looking forward to seeing the young men in action but singled out two forwards who fans should keep an eye on.
“Our captain, Nikau Wrathall, will play in the back row and is someone who excelled in both of our trials. Another one is front rower Bailey Lanham, who is a tough country kid from Mittagong who I’m looking forward to seeing out there.”
The Dragons SG Ball side will open their season on Saturday 6 February at Mascot Oval, kicking off at 12:30pm.
The team selected is as follows:
- Mitchell Reeve
- Jayden Samrani
- Benjamin Johnson
- Terence Patolo
- Patrick Taukafa
- Isaac Morris
- Dantoray Lui
- Bailey Lanham
- Mackenzie Roche
- Elijuwhon Suavai
- Caleb Joshua Navale
- Nikau Wrathall ©
- Daniel Musolino
- Lachlan Woodger
- Burt Tukala
- Taine Woodford
- Adam Runchel