ALL three Illawarra Steelers junior representative teams started their 2019 campaigns in perfect fashion, by all recording strong wins against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks on Saturday.
At Southern Cross Group Stadium, the biggest win of the day went to Daniel Lacey’s Tarsha Gale side, as they thumped last year’s premiers 56-14.
The win for Lacey’s side, which features Group Seven’s Taniesha Roberts, Keele Browne, Meg Buchanan (all Milton-Ulladulla), Madi Singleton, Riley Scott, Teagan Berry and Rhiannon Tungai (all Stingrays), was set up by the visitors running in six tries in the first 22 minutes – to blow the Sharks off the park.
In the win, Maddison Weatherall scored a hat-trick, with other tries going to Browne (two), Olvia Vale (two), Tiana Graham, Tungai and Emily Andrews – as Viena Tinao and Graham landed four conversions each.
Not to be outdone was Jono Dallas’ Steelers Harold Matthews side, featuring Stingrays’ Trey Barlow, Toby Peters, Jarvis Polley and Coleby Smith and Milton-Ulladulla’s Jye Hendrie, who edged out the Sharks 16-12.
Tries from Smith, Benjamin Lavender and Barlow set up the four-point win, with Peters nailing two kicks in the win.
The final match of the day saw Ben Linde’s SG Ball side run riot against the Sharks, to the tune of 36-4.
Try scorers for Linde’s side, featuring Group Seven’s Zane Boersma (Warilla-Lake South), Josh Coric (Albion Park-Oak Flats), Blake Dowel (Warilla-Lake South), Oscar Fitzpatrick (Milton-Ulladulla), Duke Grant (Warilla-Lake South), and Jack Walsh (Albion Park-Oak Flats), were Treigh Stewart (two), Dowel, Aaron Schoupp, Jackson Shereb, Talatau Amone and Zach Herring.
In round two, all three Steelers sides will play their first home game of the season at the Collegians Sporting Complex on Saturday against Parramatta.
First game will be the Tarsha Gale clash between the Steelers and Eels at 10am, before Harold Matthews at 11.30am and SG Ball at 1pm.